Four Tet: Everything Ecstatic

By Scott Kara, Reviewed by Scott Kara

Add a comment

(Herald rating: * * *)

If there is a laptop equivalent to free jazz then Four Tet - the solo electronica project by Kieran Hebden from post-rock band Fridge - is close to it. Everything Ecstatic, Four Tet's fourth album, comes on in surges like you're sitting in a natural hot spring; sometimes it's scorching, sometimes it's unnerving, and sometimes just lukewarm.

Four Tet loves old-school techno and experimental beat making just as much as he is into innovative hip-hop, made by the likes of Madlib (aka Madvillain, aka Quasimoto).

Everything Ecstatic's throbbing moments (the agitator cycle of opener A Joy, or the percussive bashing of Sun, Drums and Soil) are great. But while much of this is beautiful, and the schizophrenic samples (sped-up curtain-call jingles anyone?) are stunningly crafted, be warned, it is a challenge. It's just that sometimes these great sounds seem like they are only there for the sake of it.

The eight-minute epic Sleep Eat Read Have Visions illustrates the two sides to this album: it starts in bleep-happy fairyland and then abates into a weird world of recurring alien beats.

If you're not up for Four Tet's challenge, here's a suggestion: perhaps combine a listening session with an art installation. The two would work well together and that way you'd get to hear this impressive work that, let's face it, isn't for everyone.

Label: SpeaknSpell

- NZ Herald

Get the news delivered straight to your inbox

Receive the day’s news, sport and entertainment in our daily email newsletter


Have your say

1200 characters left

By and large our readers' comments are respectful and courteous. We're sure you'll fit in well.
View commenting guidelines.

© Copyright 2017, NZME. Publishing Limited

Assembled by: (static) on production bpcf02 at 28 May 2017 20:14:53 Processing Time: 250ms