Four Tet

  • AllMusic Rating
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

DJ-Kicks Review

by Marisa Brown

In the same vein perhaps as LateNight Tales, which came out earlier the same year, DJ-Kicks finds Kieran Hebden choosing some of his favorite songs from both past and present to share with his audience. But while LateNight Tales was just a cut-and-dried collection, DJ-Kicks has Hebden mixing the tracks together into something that resembles a possible club set. Though the music of Four Tet is firmly placed within the IDM/indie electronica context, not only has Hebden worked with artists from a variety of genres (Beth Orton, Kings of Convenience, Koushik, Bloc Party, to name a few), but his actual influences are also just as far reaching, if not more so. The album moves from soul (Curtis Mayfield's "If I Were Only a Child Again") to indie pop (Stereolab's "Les Yper-Sound") to pure electronica (Akufen's "Pyschometry") to hip-hop (Group Home's "Up Against the Wall [Getaway Car Remix]") effortlessly, not just because of the actual production, but because of Hebden himself. There's clearly something inside him that connects each of these pieces to him, and he's able to use it to create a real sense of continuity, even if the tracks themselves can be a little disparate. Perhaps this is reflected best in "Pockets," the Four Tet song that comes on a little more than halfway through the album. It isn't quite like anything else on DJ-Kicks, but still it encompasses everything that has come before it and everything that will come after. Using synthesizers in house-like beats, various organic and inorganic forms of percussion, layers of sounds and effects that work their way in and out of the piece, and a good sense of melody, "Pockets" represents not just Four Tet's work but also Kieran Hebden's musical interests as well as the album itself does. And for fans of Four Tet, that's reason enough to make DJ-Kicks interesting.

blue highlight denotes track pick