Artist: Four Tet
Title: New Energy
Label: Text Records
Cat No: TEXT046D
Released: Out Now!
Genre: House / Downtempo
Four Tet returns with his ‘New Energy’, and it’s pretty chilled. Kieran Hebden is not only a musical genius; he is also a prolific machine. The man has managed to pretty well release a full-length album every 2 years for about the last 20 years and that’s just under his Four Tet moniker. This is not including the 4 albums he’s done with Steve Reid, let alone his well-lauded moonlighting sessions with Burial, Thom Yorke… a few mix compilations… I’m feeling tired already, he’s a busy boy… and on top of all this, he donated the first 1,000 CD and vinyl copies of New Energy to Oxfam, for them to sell!!! What a dude!!!
This could be a really short review… this album is magic!! Go hear it now, bye! But that’s probably not gonna pay the bills, so I’ll roll out some superlatives. From the adorable minute, twenty intro track, ‘Alap’, through to the epic 4/4 closer, ‘Planet’, ‘New Energy’ captivated and enchanted me like “Intelligent Dance Music” hasn’t done for a long time. It’s so playful, yet emotional. Simple yet perplexing! I haven’t been disarmed by music like this since… maybe John Beltran’s last album? Anywho, at about the halfway point through Lush the overall theme and scope of the album begin to come into focus as that sweet twinkle and lively string plucks vacillate between percussion and melody, as chimes and shakers seem to constantly lull you forwards throughout the course of the album. Elements more typical of Four Tet are on show as well, with chopped up vocals and synth work that has been some of Kieran’s trademark moves since ‘There is Love in You’.
While, You Are Loved provides the subtle AFX breaks harking back to his Beautiful Rewind, album. SW9 9SL is a straight house tune, with a magic breakdown. Perfect for an Australian summer. I fear it’s going to get rinsed! And why not, it’s a brilliant tune, from an amazing album.
Unfortunately, people will dissect this album to the nth degree, but what we have here folks is one of those albums you play to people who say there’s no such thing as beautiful dance music.