Finally one of the most requested, eagerly anticipated and generally exciting LPs of the year has finally landed. That's right, ambient maverick, electronic legend, jungle revivalist and abstract jazzer Four Tet is back with his first full length (longer than two conceptual suites) LP of brand new material in four years. Leaving the archival "0181" to one side, Kieran's last two LP outings were the extended and mind expanding ethno-lectronica of "Morning / Evening" and the dislocated, narcotic and blunted jungle of "Beautiful Rewind". Much to the delight of the KH traditionalists out there (cough...Barry) there's nary a spinback in sight on the blissful "New Energy", the producer opting instead to stroll calmly through the ambient pads, twinkling sequences and sublime textures which kept us company from "Everything Ecstatic" through to "There Is Love In You". Float away on the chilled waters of "Alap", nod along to the harp-led downbeat of "Two Thousand And Seventeen" and smile along to the soft focus stylings and pastoral glitch of "LA Trance". The B-side brings the "Ringer" style hypno-rhythm and "Love In You" beauty of "Lush", before darting off into the skitterish BOC beat space of the jazz flecked "Scientists". Boasting subtle breakbeats, cinematic swells and pulsating electronics, not to mention a bewitching kalimba refrain, "You Are Loved" sees out the first disc in sublime fashion.
Onto the second platter and "SW9 9SL" (a nod to Four Tet's Brixton Academy all nighters) is a streamlined club banger decorated by shuffling percussion, rumbling bass and a massive, hands aloft breakdown. "10 Midi" offers a moment of calm after that dancefloor burner and leads nicely into the harpy downbeat of "Memories". Referencing the mantra like vocals of "Morning/ Evening" and "There Is Love...", "Daughter" is a gossamer blend of reversed vocals, cascading melodies and soothing bass - the perfect companion to the astral, ethno-techno of "Planet". Pulsating space sounds, scattered vocals and trilling kora dip in and out of the spectral arps, riding a sturdy 4/4 thump into the furthest reaches of our galaxy. All that remains is to buy yourself a copy, sit comfortably by the speakers and rest easy in the knowledge Four Tet's done it again.
STAFF COMMENTSBarry says: Combing the brilliant off-kilter jazztronic excursions of early years with the more downbeat, dancefloor-orientated kinetic outings of late (not that late) has worked a treat. Properly beautiful.