Four Tet – Pink
Text Records: 2012
Four Tet’s latest work, Pink, is full of dissonance, instrumentally diverse and quintessentially Four Tet. Sitting through the entire album is a journey, one that’s both difficult at times and instantly engaging. Pink takes the listener through a percussion and groove-filled land where loops build upon loops, house music is a clear influence, and Four Tet continues to prove he’s one of the most unpredictable artists out there.
Tracks on Pink have a discernible aspect of dissonance. It’s as though Kieran Hebden begins each track with two ideas. In one hand: a repetitive beat—a club worthy element. In the other hand: something soothing and vital. Then, like a skilled matchmaker, he smashes sounds together, forcing square pegs through round holes without losing the overall harmony. Take the opening track, “Locked”. There is a distinct club acceleration that is met with subtle, uplifting melody that creates space for the song to swell. On track “Lion” Four Tet opts for more straightforward dance percussion backed by an African cuica. The track plays against its own crisp layers with an ominous drone that gives weight to the steady, bright percussion.
Four Tet, like many experimental electronic artists, has scaled back the experimental elements and zeroed in on making more minimal elements pop against a house-inspired percussion arrangement. Personally, I enjoyed the experimental elements on all of Four Tet’s previous projects. But there is something to be said for the consistency of this album; every track seems to evolve from the same primordial goo. My only criticism is that “Peace For Earth”, which runs 11 minutes and 22 seconds, feels a bit too similar to a long-winded Boards of Canada tune in its ambient-leaning nature. Sitting through it is worth the wait, however, because the following track, “Pinnacles”, will wash over you with its dizzying bass riff and free jazz elements.
I didn’t necessarily feel moved by this album, but it is without a doubt entertaining and dance-worthy. Bottom line: Another solid Four Tet album for you to move to. So go ahead.