Four Tet | DNO183
Four Tet returns with four tracks of techno (not techno). The Ringer mini-album is a 32-minute, four-track excursion into the kind of wide-open spaces you might find if you set out to make techno with an afrobeat/krautrock sensibility. Ringer locks together gloriously rich synthesizer arpeggios: "Wing Body Wing" slips from crisp clusters of disco percussion to Steve Reich polyrhythms and in between are another two euphoric ripples of sound ("Ribbons" and "Swimmer").
These are tracks that make you think of Berlin – Dakar – Detroit - but they could only have been made in London. All four are headphone epics, but are mixed in such a way you know you have to hear them at Plastic People or The End. The techno heartbeat comes from Kieran Hebden’s regular DJ residences over the last couple of years, but also from his ongoing collaborations with legendary jazz drummer Steve Reid. Whether in the studio or live, Kieran and Steve often click into the kind of deep 4/4 grooves that can depart in any direction with a little adjustment. Ringer carries that minimal pulse over into Four Tet, and while Kieran’s trademark recuttings of jazz breaks may be less in evidence, his feel for harmony and melody is, as always, unmistakable.