Well, isn't this intriguing? Four Tet had all of his videos directed for Everything Ecstatic. Now, the album simply was good enough because you can put your own imagination to it. Kieran Hebden frees his mind, and the rest followed with everything. Now, the great thing about these videos is that most of them stick to the theme: ecstatic, happiness. But some of the people won't see anything but arty or cheesy or arty and cheesy. That may not be what Four Tet is aiming for and with his videos, he doesn't care. BUt in my view that is just what it turns out to be.
Now I hope you don't mind if I take the Amazon approach and rate the videos in line. Here goes nothing:
1. A Joy: The simple joys of watching colors bounce around and sprint all over the screen. What joy. 2/5
2. Smile Around The Face: The man has gone through some srazy crap in his day and doesn't have much to smile about until the end. To some it may be quite predictable, but the video feels much like a lesson than anything regular. This was also one of the videos they showed you on the Domino Records website. 4/5
3. Fuji Check: Just take a picture of a tour. Once more proving that Fuji Check isn't much of a song that sprouts imagination. 2.5/5
4. Sun, Drums, and Soil: The song is an absolute frenzy, but the video seems quite pointless. All there are is things happening and not much left to expect. But what we may get through this is just the beauty of things, which saves the video from seeming quite amateur. 3/5
5. Clouding: The beauty of finger stroking the paint and lights shining through. It's good. But doesn't quite mimic the beauty of the resonating sounds in the piece. 3/5
6. High Fives: Rain falling on your head, leaving you to picture a whole new world. Eh. It's nice and just my style, but nothing really groundbreaking. And it sounded like they paid a lot of money on this one. 3/5
7. Turtle Turtle Up: Ah the simple joys of...watching a pig get cut up in a butcher shop? Wait a minute! Th-that's not right! I thought the theme was ecstatic. This feels like using the theme as a form of sarcasm. 2.75/5
8. Sleep, Eat Food, Have Visions: I know this already reminds you of Queens of the Stone Age "No One Knows". The revenge of very different species of life. Getting your head cut off for eating a lollipop with the said animals imprint. Kind of makes you wonder and keep those eyes on the television to get it. 3.5/5
9. You Were There With Me: Well, at least they stuck with the theme of the album, Not many will keep full focus on the theme as much as people blowing kisses as Kieran's girlfriend. But nonetheless, it keeps with the theme and makes use the sound of heavenly chimes. 4.5/5
10. And Then Patterns: What? They could find a single person to direct a video for "And Then Patterns"? And this song had some potential. Eh. Well, someone or something has to play footnote, I guess. 2/5
Well, I guess I have said enough about the videos besides the fact that as good as they try to be, most of them don't quite mimic the beauty of the songs by itself. In fact "You Were There with Me" sounds quite good with the "Clouding" video.
As far as the songs go, the last thing you really want happening in a part 2 of an album is an overextended version of a piece that is growing on you. But Four Tet has over extended "Turtle Turtle Up" only to give to you a more appropriate beginning. And the saddest thing is that by extending it for 16 MINUTES! He quite mimicked Black Dice in turning something beautiful into a full blown movie in your mind. What has become of the music is just removing the clutter to release a videogame-like groove that keeps you ecstatic indeed and makes Beck want to ring his neck because he didn't think of it first. However, in 11:30, it sounds as if Four Tet really just ran out of ideas and just improvised for the rest. Most of you would wish that he had kept it less than 3 minutes, as beautiful of a condensed version that came out to be on the real album. (Do you know how embarassing it is to find all you have been listening to all this time is an interstitial?)
Next comes the sound of lasers and Hip-Hop drums on Part 2 of "Sun, Drums and Soil" and you can say the energy isn't really as low as it seems. The music has the keyboard riff at a different tempo completely, upping the ecstasy and acceptance for remixes. "Watching Wavelength" is a clear B-Side to "Clouding" on the first album. The jazzy and headbopping standout of the album, "This Is Six Minutes" does more than state the obvious, but it sounds like more of a B-Side to Rounds than Everything Ecstatic. As for the ending, it seems out of place, and feels more like a Fuji Checkmate.
So, the best I can say about you is that the music is not really bad, it is just a little short. But the DVD for Everything Ecstatic is mostly for the fans. All of those who want to get to know Four Tet may want to brush up on his other work, buy Everything Ecstatic Part 1, or buy a Fridge album. But leave this on the shelf for now
Rating: CD: 7.5/10, DVD: ** 1/2 of *****