In 1930, Jazz was at its full swing. An genre with such unparalleled force and emotion was exactly what the US needed to get through its depression, famine, and war. Its subversive strike against the rigid structures and rules of its preceding genres made Jazz an enticing musical taboo.
Louis Armstrong is arguably one of the most prominent figures of Jazz in the 30’s. Best known for his bold and jarring sound, vivacious stage presence, and physical stature. Meanwhile, there was Duke Ellington, a sophisticated and elusive gentleman, conducting the progression of Jazz quietly in the shadows. Yet, his compositional influence and mastery of the piano could not be ignored. It was only a matter of time until the public noticed Ellington’s genius, although it did take a decade or two.
Four tet (Kieran Hebden) is the Ellington of our time. Plenty of respectable musicians have applauded his genius, innovation, and influence to electronic music. I don’t envy the corporate powerhouses that churn their latests singles in the largest of venues behind a million-dollar LED backdrop but I do envy Four tet‘s legacy and what he will surely leave behind for our future generations.
Four tet‘s music has surely evolved. While his older albums focused more on the Jazz, Folk, Electronic, Ambient, and the experimental side of things, his later sounds have been more influenced by British Dance Music. Locked, comes off half of Four Tet’s bi-tracked EP off the legendary Fabriclive series.
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Hebden is a master of sound manipulation and he has demonstrated again and again how malleable he can be. Locked, was one of his first songs intended to emulate house music but unlike the monotonous plague of the more recent house abominations, Locked unwinds into an enchanting sonic landscape.
Locked is not just a track with sounds but a carefully crafted tune with a perfect symbiotic balance; its industrial rhythmic grind interplays delicately with his synth line, swelling into a beautiful motif. The fluidity of his numerous instruments shaves down the minutes of each bar and its hypnotically enchanting pull will surely curtail your perception of the track’s hefty eight-and-a-half-minute runtime.
Four Tet is my favorite artist and will very well be until I expire.
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My Angel Rocks Back and Forth
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Written by Psients