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Smile Around The Face by Four Tet

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Reviewed on 8th April 2005.


Smile Around The Face

By Four Tet

Rejoice! The return of Four Tet has taken me by surprise. I thought he'd be away hibernating for the best part of five years, which is like, so hot right now. Fear not, as Mr Kieran Hebden releases a new album shortly, entitled 'Everything Ecstatic'.

His first studio work since the 'I can't fit any more quotes from the Guardian on the front of my CD' success 'Rounds', the new Four Tet is sounding as eclectic as ever. Not content with having pretty much everyone on his side when 'Rounds' was gaining critical applause, Four Tet now sounds a bit weirder, as if he's saying "go bother someone else for a while".

Whether it's a case of being willfully perverse, just to get the Observer Music Monthly off his back for a bit, I don't know, but I don't think he's managed it, as this is all party jam brilliance. Again, it's structured around the use of slightly odd samples, but here Four Tet sounds a bit less bombastic than his previous work. Imagine the Avalanches if they had only half of their record collection and a battered old 808 and you're somewhere close. It's still delightfully breezy, summery stuff, perfect for the on-coming season, but managing to still give it that extra twist, that subtle darkness that filled 'Rounds' so perfectly.

If that polarized the middle class dinner party set who have copies of his other album, then 'Sun Drums And Soil', the next track lifted from his up coming new album will have them split even further. This is like Four Tet, but full of extreme levels of dark atmospherics, paranoid delusions and rumbling drums. It's quite long too, so beware. Safe to say then, that there isn't an awful lot of music currently doing the rounds (see what I did there?) that sounds like this.



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