Four Tet


Text • 2024

»Three« by Four Tet is a single meditation. Kieran Hebden hasn’t made an ambient album, but most of the eight tracks have a distinct beat structure. However, almost every track is complemented by spherical passages. It is an interplay of power and silence that is unusual for a record of this format. The first track, »Loved«, takes less than 25 seconds to transport the listener into a sonic kaleidoscope of the most beautiful melancholy. This is dance music made for walks in the blue hour of the first warm days of the year. Four Tet’s trademark has always been the bells, the wind chimes, the tinkling that rises, intertwines and intoxicates. On »Stormy Crystals« he stays true to this pattern and also draws inspiration from Boards of Canada, for example. In general, »Three« is reminiscent of everything good that the British Nineties had to offer in terms of production and genre construction. At its core, the album is an edgy, not-so-smooth electronic trip-hop album, complemented by a modern, harmony-hungry house appeal. The highlight of the album is »Bloom«. The track’s relentless beat must have come from Ricardo Villalobos’ analogue synth monsters, and the scratching melody makes you sit up and take notice: Is this stimming? This melange, so modest, so round and good, creates something wonderful. It brings the minimal, the reduced, the qualitative back into the mainstream of electronic dance music, as if it had never been gone.