Four Tet | DNO060
Inspired by the energy and ideas of old school techno and the freedom and edge of the more recent hip-hop from the likes of Madlib and MF DOOM (plus listening to everything from Astral Weeks to Gamelan music), Kieran Hebden set out to make a record really fast that would retain all the energy and enthusiasm he was feeling, and that wouldn't sound like anyone else; wouldn't even sound like himself. Two months later, he came out of his flat with Everything Ecstatic, a record he rightly describes as being "charged."
Hugely anticipated - and rightly so - Everything Ecstatic is as demented, clever and downright enjoyable as anything to ever bear the Four Tet tag. Just as Rounds provided a new benchmark for electronic music in 2003, so Everything Ecstatic will in its turn redefine the parameters of what is possible within this ever-mutating, endlessly fascinating and incredibly fertile field. Beginning with "A Joy," a churning bass-heavy tune like a washing machine set to "queasy," Everything Ecstatic is immediately deeper and darker than what we are used to. Impossible drums skitter across an alien terrain and disappear behind rocks, only to come back bigger and more terrifying. "Sun, Drums And Soil," the fourth track (and first single) is a real showstopper. Beginning like you've just walked into a jazz cellar halfway through a free drum solo, it is hypnotic and mesmerising, like some Krautrock meets Haitian voodoo music designed to induce trance states. It is here that it occurs to you that Everything Ecstatic is maybe all about drums.