Kieran Hebden was far from silent surrounding the release of Morning/Evening, the eighth Four Tet album. In 2015, among a typical stream of activity, there was the release of 2011 Until 2014, a compilation of material produced under his Percussions alias, as well as the Strings of Life 12", a roaring update of Derrick May's early techno touchstone recorded live in 2006 with Steve Reid. Much different from seventh Four Tet album Beautiful Rewind, a set of relatively brief and urgent productions inspired by U.K. pirate radio, Morning/Evening consists of two 20-minute tracks. "Morning" begins with a brushing four-four spring in its step and low melodic drones before a lovely sample of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar enters for the first of several high-in-the-mix instances. At one point, its understated jacking beat makes way for a dazzling array of pattering mechanical percussion, and then it briefly returns, in both cases placed almost inconspicuously in the mix. Its last quarter is all burbling, twinkling ambience. The first two-thirds of "Evening" involve a little light and percolating percussion and sparse keyboard tones that seem to be on the brink of leading to Kraftwerk's "The Robots." Along with overlapping spectral vocal phrasings, the track hovers and glistens, then intensifies and gains weight as a basic but effective drum pattern enters for a few minutes and fades away in an equally gradual manner. What verged on ambient tedium around halfway through is, at the end, much closer to a dancefloor tease -- like a more active section were lopped off. This isn't among the most substantive Four Tet albums, but it does reward repeated casual listening.
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman