One of Kieran Hebden's more aggressive outings under the Four Tet moniker, Everything Ecstatic veers away from the rustic acoustic guitar loops which, for better or worse, came to represent his earlier work. Here, he replaces those sounds with low-pitched synth rumbles, buried beneath the drum machines like the unrelenting drone of a factory assembly line. There's still a familiar tenderness to the piano-driven reflection "And Then Patterns," but it contrasts heavily with songs like "Joy," on which his usual precise scripting is deliberately blurred and much harder to parse. "Sun Drums and Soil" is the towering success, easily among the best tracks of his career, but it's probably "High Fives" that serves as the best snapshot of this stage in the evolution, with the husky new background grunts meeting infantile xylophone melodies and punctuated by pointedly electronic filters and volume swells. The replay value comes primarily from swimming through all the details, which aren't necessarily intricate, but are impossible to keep track of just the same: fading cymbal crashes and subtly pulsing bass lines seem to pop up everywhere you turn, usually stemming from a starting point four bars back which you missed because, well, there was something else going on back there too.
By Marc Hogan on 01.13.15 in News
Time to double-check those "Most Anticipated Albums of 2015" lists. The year began on an ambitious note led by PJ Harvey, and this week brought chances to stream a couple of the most eagerly awaited albums along with new...
By Andy Battaglia on 10.09.14 in Features
Dan Snaith discusses his systematic approach to music making and its unfailingly beautiful results.
By Andrew Parks on 09.26.14 in News
Most music videos don’t require much more than a sentence-long summary, let alone an intro from Carson Daly, so here’s what we’re doing every Friday afternoon: saving you a slew of clicks by dropping the clips you may ha...
By Barry Walters on 02.25.14 in Reviews
Neneh Cherry's first solo album in 18 years sounds nothing like the work of an artist who's had massive worldwide pop hits, as Cherry has. Nor does it sound anything like most so-called alternative records. Accompanied b...