Kieran Hebden, better known as Four Tet, is the electronic producer who has done it all really. From signing his first record deal aged fifteen performing in the Post-Rock band Fridge, and then branching out into solo exploration in the late nineties and stating himself as an influential part of the Electronic music scene. With albums like Everything Ecstatic under his belt, plus working with UK dubstep artist Burial and Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, He’s a force to be reckoned with.
My first experience with Four Tet was his 2013 album Beautiful Rewind, an album I thought was a decent electronic number but after a few listens it went to the back of my mind and I forgot about it, its eleven tracks of Ambient electro kind of seemed uninteresting to me when compared to the other albums I was listening to a lot at the time, mainly by the likes of Aphex Twin and Boards Of Canada. But now Four Tet is back with another album, in the form of two twenty minute pieces, Morning/Evening is Kieran’s eighth album under the Four Tet moniker.
The album kicks off with the first track Morning which throughout its twenty minutes remains a very upbeat song, filled with lots of drums and percussion. It opens with a simple drum beat and gradually introduces more and more elements as the track progresses, including a sample that runs throughout of an Indian singer, which I discovered is from a Bollywood film called Souten. At about a minute into the track Four Tet introduces some very warm synth chords, which to me almost seem influenced by his Post-Rock past. The track changes things up throughout the track, with the synths disappearing and the listener being pummelled with many different types of percussion around the eight to ten minute mark which gives the track a very tribal feel to it.
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The track Evening Side is a much darker track. In comparison to Morning it feels a lot more improvised. The track begins with a very subtle percussion pattern with a lot of seemingly random sharp stabbing synth notes and this goes on for about two minutes until it fades out until a new melody is brought in and an entirely different section of the song begins. The song becomes much slower and calmer than the first track, and I think the improvisational feel to the really helps make it what it is. A sample similar to the one on Morning is brought in, it appears to be another Bollywood vocal sample, although I couldn’t find any information on its source. It is used in a much darker and more ambient way than on Morning.
This track almost feels meditative and really reminds me of some of the songs from Board’s Of Canada’s “Music Has The Right To Children”. Once the initial percussion fades out at the very beginning, the track remains void of any percussion until around thirteen minutes in when a live sample of a drum kit beat builds up and Kieran gradually adds more bits of MIDI percussion into the fold. The synths eventually fade out and the last five minutes of the track are almost entirely percussion, ending the track off on a very different note than it started.
Morning/Evening was a highly enjoyable project from Kieran and I think that it has definitely changed my feelings about his music, after this project I am excited to see what the future holds for Four Tet.