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Four Tet - Three (Album Review)

Tuesday, 19 March 2024 Written by Tom Morgan

Four Tet’s Kieran Hebden is a remarkably unpretentious musician. It would be easy to look at his improvised collaborations with jazz drummer Steve Reid and get the wrong idea, given the way recent crowd-pleasing work with Skrillex and Fred Again revealed someone unconcerned with high brow expectations.

This speaks to the arc of Four Tet’s artistic progression more broadly, too. From his folktronica origins to Burial remixes and Madlib collaborations, he’s proven himself highly adept at basically every permutation of electronic music.

His latest full-length offers further evidence of this mastery, moving through genres with expert abandon. Though comprised of new material, ‘Three’ feels a bit like a Four Tet greatest hits, rife with downtempo beats (Loved), dreamlike techno (Daydream Repeat) and intricate microhouse (31 Bloom).

Holding together these shifts is Hebden’s trademark ability to blend acoustic and electronic instrumentation. Skater is a striking blend of ‘80s guitar textures and trip-hop beats, while album highlight Daydream Repeat makes gorgeous use of serene harp arpeggios.

A small criticism: ‘Three’ contains probably one instrumental hip-hop track too many. So Blue drags and feels a touch regressive for such a forward-thinking artist. However, this is just a minor complaint about an otherwise engrossing album, one that feels like being given a colourful tour through Hebden’s ever-evolving musical brain.

Four Tet Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Sat June 08 2024 - MANCHESTER Heaton Park
Sat August 10 2024 - LONDON Finsbury Park

Compare & Buy Four Tet Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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