Kieran Hebden aka For Tet has announced two new albums set to be released tonight at midnight on Christmas Day. The albums are titled Parallels and 871. Earlier in the month Four Tet announced that his long anticipated collaboration album with Madlib is set to be released in January.
So far only the artworks by Jason Evans has been shared.
In March Four Tet released Sixteen Oceans, his seventh studio album. Read our review here.
Four Tet has announced a new collaborative album with Madlib Sound Ancestors, set to be released in January 2021. They have shared the first single from the project “Road Of The Lonely Ones” which was premiered on BBC 6 Music.
On Instagram Four Tet said “A few months ago I completed work on an album with my friend Madlib that we’d been making for the last few years. He is always making loads of music in all sorts of styles and I was listening to some of his new beats and studio sessions when I had the idea that it would be great to hear some of these ideas made into a Madlib solo album. Not made into beats for vocalists to use but instead arranged into tracks that could all flow together in an album designed to be listened to start to finish. I put this concept to him when we were hanging out eating some nice food one day and we decided to work on this together with him sending me tracks, loops, ideas and experiments that I would arrange, edit, manipulate and combine. I was sent hundreds of pieces of music over a couple of years stretch and during that time I put together this album with all the parts that fitted with my vision.
Eothan Alapatt worked with us on the whole project guiding and advising and has now prepared the album for release. He’s had Bernie Grundman cut the vinyl and everything is in production and will be ready soon.”
Earlier in the year Four Tet released his 7th studio album Sixteen Oceans, read our full review here. Madlib also released Pardon My French with Karriem Riggins under the name Jahari Massamba Unit, paying homage to 70’s spiritual jazz.
Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet has released of Tame Impala’s ‘Is It True’ from his latest album ‘The Slow Rush’ which was released back in February. Tame Impala also recently released a music video for ‘Is It True’ which you can watch here.
It’s been 3 years since the release of Four Tets last full length album ‘New Energy’ which saw Kieran Hebden become a household favourite for many hardcore and casual electronic fans. With its dense and easily absorbed blends of house, techno and world music it became a staple of any ‘Indie music to chill to’ playlists. It also saw the Four Tet live experience become grander and reach new heights in terms of what an interactive live experience could be through the lighting instalment collaboration with Squidsoup
That doesn’t mean Hebden has been quiet in the studio. Last year he released the three track EP ‘Anna Painting’, a collaboration with painter Anna Liber Lewis in which the music and artwork were an inspiration for each other. A small teaser for what was to come.
On Kieran Hebdens 10th album under the Four Tet name, the club banger is often dropped in favour of a rich exploration of sound, taking elements of the world around him and creating one of his own.
The first quarter of the album is a flow of techno infused, beat heavy cuts that lean towards the more sample based and club orientated sounds that fans have come to know and love from Hebden. Opener ‘School’ clicks into action with the lo-fi beat favourite 808 drum machine, slowly adding layers of melodic synths, ambient textures and arpeggiated keys. It’s a classic Four Tet sound that ends as quickly as it started.
Lead single ‘Baby’, featuring a low-key vocal performance from Ellie Goulding, transitions through various stages, the simple beat and layered vocals that are found on many Four Tet cuts. Then gliding seamlessly into the ambient samples of birdsongs and drawn out synths, eventually grouping back together to fuse into a layered groove of melodies. The layers are taken away on ‘Harpsichord’ as the lead instrument from the tracks title takes centre stage, focusing more on the simple melodies and synth patterns.
The 3 track run of ‘Romantics’, ‘Love Salad’ and ‘Insect Near Piha Beach’ are shining examples of what makes Hebden a renowned producer. A Picasso of sound.
Each track reaches a euphoric high as each sound and movement is carefully picked and placed. A mixture of beats, clicks, samples, synths, disconnected voices and bird songs all flow gently through the air one after another as if racing to see which sounds can take the track in the next direction. ‘Romantics’ and ‘Insect Near Piha Beach’ bring back those bright and elegant dulcimer strings from ‘Two Thousand And Seventeen’ which shine through the mix like the sunlight through the trees of the cover.
The track ‘Something In The Sadness’ serves as the final flurry of techno glory before the album takes a breath and steps back. The glitchy arpeggios, pounding beat and rising synth strings don’t transition and change as much as some of their previous counterparts, keeping with a similar rhythm throughout, but offers a satisfying conclusion to the expeditious sounds of the first portion of the album.
The pounding beats and soft synths are taken away in favour of more ambient and earthly sounds as Hebden shows that he doesn’t need to rely on just the big bass to create a big sound.
Samples of birdsongs and water movements make their way back into the scene on a couple of the ‘transition’ tracks, layered with drawn out chords create a delicate infusion of the natural world and the digital sounds of modern life.
‘This Is For You’ and ‘Mama Teaches Sanskrit’ have a very Brian Eno essence around them as the slow gentle chords reach out into the world around them. It’s the album coming to the end of a journey and settling down after the frantic beats and dancehall grooves of the first few tracks.
In a time where we may all be feeling left very isolated, this album is the company that we all need. Calm, full of hope and full of the world around us. It may have not been intentional but Sixteen Oceans is a reminder there’s beauty out there waiting for us, when we’re ready to return.