It’s no secret that Kieran Hebden is a master at mining the UK for prudent collaborations and his latest, with London-based brothers Ben and Tom Page aka RocketNumberNine, is yet another unabated success. “Roseland” is eight minutes of sweltering maximalism, all syncopated rhythmic elements and synthesized flute sounds that amass into an oppressively dense ball. The track is the a-side to a 12″ that will be released in the hopefully near future via Text. Stream below.
In which The xx beat machine/mastermind devolves Four Tet’s fellow Elliot School alumnus Four Tet’s most straight-forward track to date into a puddle of floating dub madness. Jamie Smith’s remix of “Lion” might as well be three songs as it jumps tempos drastically every two minutes or so. The one consistent factor is a writhing low end that never ceases even at the remix’s most docile moments. If Smith has proven anything in his solo work, it’s a mastery of emotion through bass. Some might call this simple, but Smith has always maintained an intended minimalism about his music. This remix actually reminds me of Pinch & Shackleton’s self-tltled 2011 album in its balance between heavy atmospherics and a steady beat. Stream below and pray to the Halloween gods that these two will collaborate in the near future.
Kieren Hebden and Dan Snaith walk into a Boiler Room with a box of equipment. Hilarity ensues. Err rhythmic genius. Four Tet and Caribou curated Boiler Room the other night and brought out Evian Christ and Nathan Fake to play beats or something, but the real highlights were the two big men themselves. Known to play b2b sets every so often, Hebden and Snaith kept to themselves on this occasion, Four Tet taking the stage armed with a SP-404 and some sort of Monome. Four Tet’s grasp on the intricacies of rhythm make him a true master of his craft, transcending the standard limitations of the DJ trade. Stream the set above and head here to download.
Four Tet aka Kieren Hebden’s latest release, Pink, is more of a collection of singles than an actual album and while a solid work overall, is often quite abrasive. Hebden reclaimed his melodic roots though today, remixing Brooklyn beatsmith FaltyDL’s “Straight and Arrow”. The remix will appear on a single dropping November 13 alongside remixes from Gold Panda and Mike Q. Stream below.
When I look up The xx’s 2009 debut in my iTunes, I’m almost always taken aback by the sheer number of talent that lent their hand to both official and unofficial remixes. Pariah, Dark Sky, Mount Kimbie, Nosaj Thing, John Talabot, Four Tet, and of course Jamie xx himself, all put forth impressive reinterpretations, with “VCR”, “Basic Space” and “Islands” (by my count) being the most popular remix fodder. Even that Biggy mashup tape was quality and highlighted Jamie xx’s handle on hip hop percussion. Surprisingly, despite Coexist being released over two weeks ago, there has been a dearth of quality remixes. It’s not like the album isn’t remix-able either. With even more empty space and sparser production, the album is arguably more open to reinterpretation than xx. Enter Kieran Hebden. Four Tet’s sprawling remix of “VCR” was one of the two or three best from the debut and his take on “Angels” might be looked back on in a similar fashion in a few years. Unlike the nine minute shoegaze exodus that was “VCR”, Hebden’s take on “Angels” is charming and beatific, maintaining the restraint of the original. The remix could appear on an EP alongside a Jamie xx remix of a recent Four Tet jam. In the meantime, stream “Angels” below.
Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet just recently released his fantastic Pink LP and is now following it up with a remix of Ultraista’s “Smalltalk”. A little background on Ultraista: the band consists of Radiohead producer Nigel Godrich, Joey Waronker (produced for Beck, Smashing Pumpkins, R.E.M, Elliot Smith and others) and London artist Laura Bettinson. Needless to say, with a cadre like that, the original is phenomenal. Bettinson’s subtle vocals are accentuated by delicate synths, which Four Tet then blows out into his most dancefloor oriented track in a while Breaking the song down to Bettinson’s eerie vocals, he then continues to add on intricate layers of his now recognizable percussion. Catch the original here and stream Four Tet’s remix below.
I’m off three double stacks and I’m looking for that action
As much as it pains my hating heart, Diplo has been doing his damn thing on Radio 1Extra. Hopefully I don’t have to explain how fucking incredible two hours of Hudson Mohawke, Lunice and Four Tet laying down the phreshest hip hop beats and rhymes is so just grab a double cup and pop a squat. Seriously, stop what you’re doing. Who knew that the pitch perfect melding of promethazine and ecstasy culture would come in the form of a pasty Glaswegian and a gregarious Montréalaise. Four Tet impresses, fitting grime, R&B and a righteous Theo Parrish edit into the hip hop spectrum. I don’t think I’ll never get sick of “I’m God”. Stream below.
After further investigation, the live FlyLo video I posted earlier is not the only set from Sónar São Paulo. In all my excitement, I overlooked sets from Rustie, Four Tet, James Pants, Cut Chemist, Skream, Chromeo and the ultimate supervillain… DOOM. Now, I haven’t gotten around to the DOOM video because I’m still bitter he sent an impostor to a show in Seattle a few years ago, but I’ll get over my hurt feelings eventually and press the play button. I highly recommend the Rustie video, but please just listen to the audio. The camera work is painfully abrasive. What I gathered from these videos? No one has more fun on stage than FlyLo. The dude just has an aura of unstoppable charisma surrounding him. He can’t be beat. Find all of the videos at the Sónar Youtube page and our favorites after the jump. If we’re lucky, we’ll get similar videos of James Blake, Hudson Mohawke, Justice and Modeselektor from Sónar.
Things have been a little quiet this week, because it seems everyone who has ever made or listened to music in their life is down at SXSW in Austin, but there’s still some good stuff making its way to our ears. For example, One Little Plane, also known as folky singer-songwriter Kathryn Bint from Chicago, has released a new single called She Was Out In The Water, produced by none other than Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet. The light, dreamy single is just a taste of what we can expect from One Little Plane’s upcoming full-length, Into The Trees, which will be released on Four Tet’s Text Records in May of this year. Also noteworthy: Radiohead’s Colin Greenwood plays bass on this track.
Stream the single right here: