Top positive review
12 people found this helpful
on 15 February 2006
My first experience of Four Tet was off the album 'Pause' - amongst the wealth of other electronic music that I had listened to over the summer, the organic and 'real' beats were so distinctive and relaxing that I had to go and explore what Four Tet had to offer.
Being accustomed to so many staple bands of anyone's electronica diet - Leftfield, the Prodigy and even the jazzier Mr Scruff, I found it hard to fully understand the point of Pause's underwhelming chilled out 'folktronica'. But it soon became apparent that Kieran Hebden was tackling songs from a completely different angle. Pause brought obvious melodies, took them to the abstract and drenched them in atmosphere - enough to conjure up many unchartered emotions.
So how does this relate to 'Everything Ecstatic'? Four Tet has basically taken this idea of the 'abstract melody' and enhanced it to a hitherto unseen level. But this time round it's far heavier and more accessible to a dance/electronic music fan. Straight away from the first song, heavy beats and a subterranean bass line get you wanting to dance. However, the real gem is 'Smile Around the Face', a favourite opener of a Four Tet live set, mainly due to its extremely catchy melody and crazy drums. It seemed as if Kieran Hebden chose what would be a catchy pop song and tore it up and just used snippets of it amongst endless layers of drums and samples and noise (in the best possible sense of the meaning). But it works.
What scores this album five stars is how throughout the rest of the album he manages to maintain the pace. Not only that, but he uses samples and textures that most artists wouldn't even be able to think up.
Naturally, this album takes many listens to fully uncover how good it is. The abstract melodies only are revealed with a greater understanding of the songs, but soon you will find certain samples genuinely catchy and exciting. Sun Drums and Soil, and 'And then the Patterns', plus High Fives all exemplify this characteric.
So, if you are into any kind of electronic music, I highly recommend this album. It'll get you dancing and in equal measures it'll relax you. In fact, it's just a damn good and highly intelligent album.