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+ Donato Wharton - Body Isolations
+ Svalastog - Woodwork
+ Tim Hecker - Harmony In Ultraviolet
+ Rosy Parlane - Jessamine
+ Jarvis Cocker - The Jarvis Cocker Record
+ Múm - Peel Session
+ Deloris - Ten Lives
+ Minimum Chips - Lady Grey
+ Badly Drawn Boy - Born In The U.K.
+ The Hold Steady - Boys And Girls Together
+ The Blood Brothers - Young Machetes
+ The Places - Songs For Creeps
+ Camille - Le Fil
+ Wolf Eyes - Human Animal
+ Christina Carter - Electrice
+ The Decemberists - The Crane Wife
+ Junior Boys - So This Is Goodbye
+ Various Artists - Musics In The Margin
+ Rafael Toral - Space
+ Bob Dylan - Modern Times
+ Excepter - Alternation
+ Chris Thile - How To Grow A Woman From The Ground
+ Brad Mehldau - Live in Japan
+ M Ward - Post-War
+ Various Artists - Touch 25
+ The Mountain Goats - Get Lonely
+ The White Birch - Come Up For Air
+ Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out of This Country
+ Coachwhips - Double Death
+ Various Artists - Tibetan And Bhutanese Instrumental And Folk Music, Volume 2
+ Giuseppe Ielasi - Giuseppe Ielasi
+ Cex - Actual Fucking
+ Sufjan Stevens - The Avalanche
+ Leafcutter John - The Forest And The Sea
+ Carla Bozulich - Evangelista
+ Barbara Morgenstern - The Grass Is Always Greener
+ Robin Guthrie - Continental
+ Peaches - Impeach My Bush
+ Oakley Hall - Second Guessing
+ Klee - Honeysuckle
+ The Court & Spark - Hearts
+ TV On The Radio - Return To Cookie Mountain
+ Awesome Color - Awesome Color
+ Jenny Wilson - Love And Youth
+ Asobi Seksu - Citrus
+ Marsen Jules - Les Fleurs
+ The Moore Brothers - Murdered By The Moore Brothers
+ Regina Spektor - Begin To Hope
+ The 1900s - Plume Delivery EP
+ Alejandro Escovedo - The Boxing Mirror
+ Function - The Secret Miracle Fountain
+ Sonic Youth - Rather Ripped
+ Loscil - Plume
+ Boris - Pink
+ Deadboy And The Elephantmen - We Are Night Sky
+ Glissandro 70 - Glissandro 70
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #2)
+ Calexico - Garden Ruin (Review #1)
+ The Flaming Lips - At War With The Mystics
+ The Glass Family - Sleep Inside This Wheel
+ Various Artists - Songs For Sixty Five Roses
+ The Fiery Furnaces - Bitter Tea
+ Motorpsycho - Black Hole/Blank Canvas
+ The Red Krayola - Introduction
+ Metal Hearts - Socialize
+ American Princes - Less And Less
+ Sondre Lerche And The Faces Down Quartet - Duper Sessions
+ Supersilent - 7
+ Band Of Horses - Everything All The Time
+ Dudley Perkins - Expressions
+ Growing - Color Wheel
+ Red Carpet - The Noise Of Red Carpet
+ The Essex Green - Cannibal Sea
+ Espers - II
+ Wilderness - Vessel States

44.1 kHz Archive

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Four Tet
Everything Ecstatic

Kieran Hebden seems like a swell chap, one blessed with endless enthusiasm for music, who rakes through the shelves of record stores, plunders the 'pods of his touring pals, and waves the flag for the folk whose art he loves. So, uh, I hope that it doesn't get back to Hebden that the kids — those kids who record-shop and file-swap with the same endless enthusiasm as he — call his musical outlet, alternately, Snore Tet and Bore Tet, or that many, even those minus an axe to grind, think him things like "the most overrated electronic artist ever." See, whilst Hebden's tender and gentle and awful sentimental regarding love and art, when it comes to making his own music, as Four Tet, he suddenly seems like the Tin Man, his emotionless instrumentalism as empty as a kettle, his shiny metal a façade, frontin', masking the fact that nothing's beating underneath. Everything Ecstatic, his fourth Four Tet longplayer, finds Hebden's signature spattered drum-breaks and twinkling tuned percussion forming that same familiar pattern: the one that rescinds into the background, matches the carpet, and flatters the furniture. Whilst people forever slag off the rare-groove dudes of the nu-jazz massive for their wallpaperist soundtrackism, no one — well, save for those clued-up kids who most would (wrongly) assume were Hebden's core fanbase — would dare slander Four Tet's thickly-woven sample pastiches at having the same unimposing aural qualities. Even though, y'know, they do (and you know they do).

That's not to say that this disc doesn't start off with some promise, with Hebden drawing initial inspiration from Lightning Bolt as he commences proceedings matching heavily distorted bass throb with belligerent drums; this bleeds and leads into the second song ("Smile Around the Face"), which matches a chipmunked vocal to shapeshifted breaks that cut in and out, Hebden, here, authoring a love letter to the pursuit of happiness in the same sort of scrawl as the wonky-pop party tunes peddled by The Avalanches and the wannabe Avalanches (AKA the Go! Team). His party peaks too early, though, with the gear soon settling into a middling middle, where the songs start to sound less distinct, and the changes start to become less pronounced, and interest starts to lag, and where, eventually, like a desperate host hoping to keep the party going, Hebden stacks on break after break in a gallant attempt to remind you that the disc is actually playing, and that the night ain't as old as this feels.

by Anthony Carew

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