By Four Tet
Two-years since his last release, 'Ringer,' experimental electro genius Four Tet is back with his seventh studio album 'There Is Love In You.'
The long-awaited album opens with the hauntingly beautiful 'Angel Echoes.' It is a track that does exactly what it says on the tin, conjuring up images of floaty ladies serenely passing through the hustle and bustle of the rat-race. This track gives you a false sense of security and doesn't prepare you at all for the feel of the rest of the album.
The next track, 'Love Cry' is electro-psychedelic-prog-funk. Filthy sythns run through the track and schizophrenic beats, fusing together a plethora of music styles into an electro trip-top cocoon. This track tears you from [enter activity of your choosing] and smacks you in the face with a motherboard. This is 9 minutes and 13 seconds of sonic orgasm.
'Circling' is a track that has you swimming through magical underwater worlds or travelling by unicorn through enchanted forests (I'm not on LSD, but listening to this I would really love to be and hope I don't spend the duration staring at a light thinking it's trying to tell me something profound.) Its beautiful tingles and subtly gentle vocals feel like the soundtrack fairies are born to. This description is apt as it takes you into the blink-and-you'll-miss-it track 'Pablo's Heart,' which sounds like an amino-scan but is probably just a heart-scan supplied by Pablo.
Another stand-out track is 'Sing,' a track that is archetypal Four Tet electronica, but with remnants of African djembe beats. Every aspect of this multi-layered track is laced with strong, staccato rhythms synonymous with tribal dances.
In a complete u-turn in styles, the track 'This Unfolds' ever so subtly and looped seems to have been inspired by English trumpeting made famous in the sixties by the trailblazers of yester-year.
'Plastic People' is a track that would stand-up against contemporaries Squarepusher, Aphex Twin and Venetian Snares. What it lacks in a hard beat that rips through your chest, it makes up for in effortless simplicity and sophistication.
The finale of 'There Is Love In You' is a track that empathises with 'She Just Likes To Fight.' The track is more acoustic and guitar-based then the other tracks, but still manages to stay in keeping with the Four Tet aura. It's a track that could easily feature on Radiohead's next album or any of their albums, post-OK Computer.
To describe Four Tet as ambient does not do him justice, as this is a tag usually reserved for artists that feature on the 'Ministry of Sound Chillout' compilation. This album, like all his albums, takes you on a journey. It inspires and evokes, even without the aid of mind-bending drugs you are transported to other worlds. Having collaborated with heavyweights such as Radiohead, Battles, Explosions In The Sky, Burial, Bonobo, Nathan Fake and even veteran jazz drummer Steve Reid, these influence can be heard throughout the album.
Fantastically meticulous in its execution, just listening to this album you feel that it is a labour of love and not one born from the need to sell, sell, sell. Every tiny bleep is painstakingly placed to create something beautiful, multi-layered and experimental.
Domino has been a label I have always respected for nurturing artists who have the balls to be different, artists who are in music because they have a passion for making and performing, as oppose to the sex and fame; artists who provide the perfect exodus from the bilge pimped by Radio 1. They milk the Franz Ferdinand cash-cow (who in their defence did their bit to change popular music, even though they bought guitars to the foreground for pretentious, skinny-jean wearing kids to ponce around in producing watered-down 'indie' ruining the term and scene for real music fans - and breathe - ) to invest in artists like Four Tet, Clinic, Archie Bronson Outfit, Animal Collective, Wild Beasts, The Kills and Northern wordsmith Alex Turner. Domino Records, I salute you and all you sail in you!