Kieran Hebden makes electronic-dance tracks for cosmic states of mind. Beautiful Rewind, the U.K. native's seventh LP as Four Tet, mixes club-ready rhythms with touches of brain-melt psychedelia: "Gong" opens with rumbling drums and shaky metallic clangs active beneath alien-vocal coos, as if lifted from a ritual by some deep-space tribe. Other tracks range from synths-on-the-fritz freakouts ("Parallel jalebi") to mantric spells of samples tweaked through trance-inducing repetition ("Ba teaches yoga"). A focus on beats and ecstatic dance fever comes at the expense of more expansive songcraft revealed by Four Tet of yore, but the effect remains otherworldly in its mix of finesse and raucous musical adventure.
From The Archives Issue 1195: November 7, 2013