Four Tet is one of the few electronic musicians who can seemingly do no wrong. His latest album, Morning/Evening is only comprised of two tracks, though the album spans 40-minutes of music. Where many producers would struggle to maintain the listener’s interest in songs hovering around the 20-minute mark, Kieran Hebden’s blend of jazzy drum patterns and ambient breaks maintain forward momentum throughout.
Created in Ableton with various VST synths and manipulations of audio recordings he found, Hebden has created two Eastern sounding vocal-tinged tracks that are as appropriate for daytime DJ sets as they are for more introspective headphone listening.
“Morning Side”, the dancier of the two, opens with a pulsating four-four rhythm that slowly builds on top of female vocal samples for its lengthy 20 minutes. Peppered by major-key ambient breaks in which Hebden explores a variety of reverb and delay-drenched manipulations of the vocal samples and his own synth work, “Morning Side” doesn’t feel at all like a 20-minute track; its sonic explorations and lack of loopy-ness keep active listeners on his path as they follow him throughout the track’s duration.
At times Hebdan’s synth experiments mimic the bright and sometimes aggressive palette of the solo work of Mountains’ Koen Holtkamp, though Hebden’s approach to arpeggiation is more restrained and never feels fatiguing.
The subtler approach of “Evening Side” produces a more calming result. Here Hebden ditches the pulsating four-four kick drum until about 14 minutes into the track, instead exploring more abstract synth and rhythmic work which is similar in timbre to the breaks of “Morning Side”.
As an overall excellent album for any kind of listening, Morning/Evening once again cements Hebden’s status as one of the most continually refreshing players in the game of electronic music.
Artist: Four Tet | Album: Morning/Evening
Released: June 2015 | Label: Self-Released
Genre: Ambient, Experimental, House