Noise Pop Show Review: Four Tet at The Independent, 2/26/10

by David Price on February 27, 2010


Four Tet focuses on his decks, not the crowd.

It’s hard not to get lost into Four Tet. Even though Four Tet is only one guy standing behind a multitude of computers and mixers atop a table, making it nothing less than a challenge to see him. An argument could be made that Kieran Hebden, the sole member of Four Tet, is lifeless; in fact, I’ll make that argument. Hebden is boring: there is nothing to look at. He’s whatever the opposite of animated is: dull, boring, and lifeless. His music, however, is not. Hebden’s music is teaming with expression, life and any other synonyms you’d like to throw in there.


The mesmerized crowd

Hebden’s music kind of sounds like what you’d get if you mixed Deadmau5 and Thom Yorke. It’s got the hipster street credibility of Mr. Yorke and the beats that make you dance from Mr. Mau5. Without a doubt, you find yourself in this pleasurable trance standing there looking at Hebden press buttons and turn knobs. Yet what makes you want to stand there and watch is the unique music (that he may or may not actually be controlling).

Hebden isn’t one to keep a sound going for too long. Before you pick up on a sound progressing from the background into the foreground, a new one is already making its way through the same path.It’s this progression, this continual movement of sound that evokes a transfixion onto Hebden. His biggest success is likely his ability to fuse music that would typically be used for relaxing with music that is more often used for dancing, Then he still finds space in between two drastically different genres to throw in these ambient noises. Four Tet can be summed up in one simple phrase: the evolution of modulation.

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