Four Tet: 0181 – album review

Four TetFour Tet – 0181 (Text Records)
CD / DL / LP
Out Now

Experimental electronic producer Four Tet last week decided to give away a whole albums worth of music, mainly rarities, as a free download. Paul Scott-Bates has been listening to it for us & gives us his thoughts on it below.

I listened to this in the bath and I really enjoyed it. I enjoyed the album as well.

2013 could well be the year of ‘doing a Bowie’ as artists make new releases with little or very short notice. Putney’s very own Kieran Hebden has done just that himself, unleashed a new album, 0181, on the world with very little notice. Not only that but he’s also uploaded it to Soundcloud as a free download.

It truth, it’s not really a new album & it doesn’t even have a tracklisting. It’s more a collection of old tracks and bits ‘n’ pieces, which have been connected into an almost continuous stream of loveliness.

The music was produced prior to the wonderful Rounds album and is in a similar vein. Starting very slowly and with a distinct chill-out feel, the ‘individual’ pieces are short but cohesive enough to keep you interested, slowly rising to more substantial percussive pieces before fading off again from whence it came. It manages to keep alive by the sheer change of style and sound, every little click and bleep is a joy with its slight rough edges adding to the overall charm.

So many instrumental albums fall into the trap of over pretentiousness and ridiculously long tracks but 0181 cleverly avoids falling into that trap. At times you find yourself drifting off while at others your feet start uncontrollably tapping and you find yourself wanting to jig across the floor.

There is, you would imagine, a danger of an album of snippets and even more snippets being disjointed but you couldn’t be further from the truth in this case. There has clearly been a lot of thought and care gone into the structure of 0181, loops and beats are expertly synchronised and the whole effect is an album which is possibly more worthy of being a free download (it will shortly be released on vinyl) rather than as a ‘full’ release. Think somewhere between Chemical Brothers (Come With Us) and Death In Vegas (Trans-Love Energies) and you won’t be far wrong. Good company indeed.

Listen to or download 0181 below or via soundcloud. I’m off for another bath.

Four Tet’s website is here or you can follow on Twitter here.

All words by Paul Scott-Bates. More of Paul’s writing on Louder Than War can be found here. Paul’s website Heaven Is A Place On Pendle. Paul has been working hard to save Radio Lancashire’s On The Wire, easily one of the best radio shows on the BBC. Follow him on twitter as @saveonthewire for all On The Wire news or follow his personal twitter, @hiapop.

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