This new Four Tet record, strangely not on Domino for once (instead it’s out on his own Text label) has been noted for its long tracks (five of the eight on here run over the six-minute mark) as well as its prevalence for a more club friendly, 4/4 feel. Listening to this LP push along, as much as it was enjoyable in some areas it also became a bit ‘back-round music’ in others, which isn’t really how I remember Four Tet (Kieran Hebden to his mates) when listening to his earlier output (especially such LPs as 2001′s ‘Pause’, and ‘Rounds’ from two years later). Maybe it’s also the case that the surprise factor has gone a little which, as much as it is a shame, it is also, to a not inconsiderable extent, expected.
Yet there are times during ‘Pink’ where you can tell he is also doing something a little more contemporary, such as ‘Ocoras’, and ‘Lion’, where you can hear people like Jus Wan and Falty DL, with a 4/4, slightly off-centre and blurred brand of psyche-techno. There are other unmistakably Four Tet signature sounds though, such as tracks ’128 Harps’, which not surprisingly features a harp (he does like a harp does Mr Hebden), and the LP high point for me, the opener Locked (see unofficial video below); a nice steady and tight bit of beat-and-rhythm electronica that slowly builds, adding different elements as though a camera’s panning outwards from the centre to reveal a wider picture. It’s also pretty much effortlessly beautiful – like Four Tet at his best in fact. End cut ‘Pinnacle’ on the other hand, is a bit too bright and widescreen, and with that big heavy piano touch that occasionaly drops putting me in mind of chin-stroking dinner party music. I didn’t much care for Pinnacle, and wouldn’t really mind if I never heard it again if honest.
In conclusion then, it is by no means his finest LP, but if it happens to be subtly crafted, slow building electronic summery beauty you’re after then this record is there to be enjoyed certainly, even if it’s maybe too streamlined and clean for its own good, while some of it does go on a bit too long.