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Rounds by Four Tet

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Reviewed on 1st May 2003.

 
 

Rounds

By Four Tet

Effortlessly cool. Tunefully pure. This is iced peach sorbet for any music-glutted ear.

Four Tet (on his fourth album for Domino) does digital cut and paste with beautiful instrumental samples and exotic percussion scrapes. Each languid track develops painstakingly and minimally to soothe the soul into acceptance. Control is everything and serenity is the consequence.

There are no human voices. There is a wide range of recognisable insstruments among the ambient and created noises. Steady tempo, beautiful drumming and refined melody are embraced, entirely for the sake of mood. You wouldn't really use it for the dancing and the singing. It's music to tidy your affairs by, or sit in a quiet uncluttered room with. There's a hint of Japanese minalism about it, and a supressed joy in the rising chords. There's humour and humanity too - astonishingly rich for electronic music. "Slow Jam" at track ten has a squeaky duck that makes me laugh out loud, as the Yo La Tengo-like guitar figure rises and falls.

Deep down, I suppose, there's part of me that suspects electronic music of taking the easy way out. The "Rounds" album washes that clean away with its meticulously applied effort and soulful taste. The more you listen the more your hear. The longer you listen the more content you become.

Kieran Hebden brings his Four Tet project to the Brudenell Social Club on May 13th. It'll be a blissed out time for all the world-weary and ear-assaulted masses of Leeds 6. It'll be a change from supporting Radiohead in Spain for Four Tet as well I expect.

 

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