Four Tet is by no means a hidden gem, although he arguably held onto such a title for a long time. The past decade has seen him turn into a giant within the underground electronic scene, famous for genre-jumping, swaying between post-UK Garage beats and organic samples laden with warm synths and unexpected changes. His career has also seen him collaborate and associate with some of the genre’s most prolific producers such as Caribou/Daphni, Jamie xx, Jon Hopkins and enigmatic Burial (with whom he shares a penchant for organic, deep, garagey beats). Lately also scoring a remix for progressive house headliner Eric Prydz.
While I appreciate the constant experimentation, and warmth and live feel Four Tets brings to a scene so often praising repetition and harsh beats, not all of his tracks hit as close to home as his aptly named 2017 slow-burner “Two Thousand and Seventeen”.
The beat, tempo and deep sub remind me of Boards of Canada and early work by Jon Hopkins, such as that heard in tracks like “Wire”. The main hook is played acoustically in traditional melodic, sampled and intimate Four Tet-style. It is interesting that despite his tendency to rely on classic house structures, such as the 4/4 kick, he is able to never sound house.
“Two Thousand and Seventeen”, to me, ranks among Four Tet’s strongest work, up with tracks like “Parallel Jalebi” and Jamie xx collaboration “Seesaw”. This, along with aforementioned Burial-echoing garage beats is where Four Tet picks my interest the most, and it will be very exciting to hear what he will be releasing for the remaining two months of the year.