Four Tet
Everything Ecstatic
(Domino)
Initial reaction to Four Tet will ride on how you feel about machines. UK laptop maestro Kieran Hebden cleverly fuses mechanical and seemingly random elements to snare even the ear that associates beeps and buzzes with the call to drudgery. His achievement is showing how far it can go. The frenzied machine beats of “Sun Drum and Soil” are more exciting if you limit the time wondering who pounded the original skins, and when. Wind chimes, short-wave radio static and synthetic gasps fashion a new dialect worthy of the dance floor on “High Fives.” Four Tet may be the brightest man-machine mutant since Kraftwerk. As his concoctions spark philosophical qualms and occasional physical revulsion, there’s no denying their status as music that you want to hear again.
—Doug Taylor

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