Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Four Tet

Four Tet - "Smile Around the Face"

A friend of mine recently shared with me that he felt there weren't enough exciting 'movers' in music nowadays. Some names he mentioned were Miles Davis, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, Jeff Buckley. According to him, these were all artists who were never able to find contentment staying in one place for very long, dabbling in numerous musical styles over their long - or in a few of these cases, abruptly cut short - careers.

Kieran Hebden, perhaps better known as Four Tet, is a man determined to move forward in his musical endeavors. His is a movement in a completely different environment as the the one of the aforementioned artists, though. Where those previous artists were constantly pushing the very limits of human capabilty, Four Tet is pushing the boundaries of musical experimentation on an inhuman level, using laptop computers and drum machines rather than a guitar or a saxophone or live drums (any traditional instrument, really).

The songs Hebden comes up with using these tools are noticeably steeped in electronic free-jazz, hip-hop, and gamelan. In a recent interview, Hebden claimed that the drums on his record would be impossible for anyone to play on a real set of drums, even with the best drummers of our time sitting behind the kit. He also pointed out that during the recording of Everything Ecstatic, he would completely throw out anything he came up with that he felt sounded like it could've fit comfortably on his previous record, 2003's Rounds. Maybe this is the type of movement and constant genre-bending that my friend wishes was more prevalent nowadays.

But beyond that, this song - or any other that you could pluck out of Four Tet's ouevre - will just make you feel so good. What a great thing to be able to have said about you as an artist, that you can be so equally innovative and utterly enjoyable. Kudos to you, Mr. Hebden. Exceptional work here.


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home