Review: Jack Foley
KEIREN Hebden, aka Four Tet, is an artist who has long been at
the forefront of the electronica movement, ever since the release
of his debut album, Dialogue.
Yet the artist is continually striving to mix things up a bit
and each new album has marked some sort of progression.
His latest, Everything Ecstatic, is probably his most
accomplished to date. It's certainly his most lively.
Hebden, himself, describes it as the most 'charged' work he has
put together and there is plenty to admire in its energetic blend
of drum breaks, samples and quirky electronica.
The album finds its feet early, with Smile Around The Face
capable of making you blush with enthusiasm as you dance to its
intoxicating blend of drum loops and samples (which overlap organs
with more natural, bird-like sounds).
Sun Drums and Soil tosses in a distinctly jazzy vibe,
reminiscent in places of the Lalo Schiffrin era, while the lazy
vibe of And Then Patterns is perfect for chilling out
to, gradually integrating some beautiful piano loops and emerging
as one of the best tracks on the long-player.
Occasionally, Hebden also throws in some deeply ambient moments,
which function as pauses in between some of the more busy tracks,
yet it's the only time the album really strikes a false note.
Hence, tracks such as Clouding (which last only a minute
and a half, or less) threaten to break-up the feelgood vibe surrounding
much of the album and divert it into pretentious, distinctly arthouse
Yet he frequently has the ability to come back strong, with the
likes of Sleep, Eat Food, Have Visions (his seven-minute
epic) serving to underline his reputation as one of the most interesting
and challenging artists on the dance circuit.
1. A Joy
2. Smile Around The Face
3. Fuji Check
4. Sun Drums And Soil
6. And Then Patterns
7. High Fives
8. Turtle Turtle Up
9. Sleep, Eat Food, Have Visions
10. You Were There With Me