So as we all know, the musical mind that Four Tet possesses is something which us mere mortals could never possibly hope to understand. His post…everything sound has cemented him as one of the great electronic pioneers of the moment, but this is common knowledge amongst all of you I’m sure . So I am goinag to try and take a much more objective approach to this album and focus purely on the music, rather than the man/deity behind the album.
To the album then, Beautiful Rewind marks an astounding seventh album release as four tet. Now whilst his sound is more electronic and house influenced now, we can still expect to hear a hugely experimental record, refusing to be classified as anything other than, well, Four tet. We start with Gong, a sort of fragmented, jungle influenced type track. Muddy sounding drums fall behind junk style percussion and reversed samples, whilst inaudible vocal samples loop over the top. By contrast, track number two Parralel Jalebi is more synth heavy, focusing on melodic feel, with beautifully overlapped vocal chops against two step drums and vintage percussion.
The next standout track for me is the curiously named Ba Teaches Yoga. The track employs the classic FourTet technique of starting with a simple enough, catchy melody and progressing the motif with building arpeggio’s and layers upon layers of progression. The track then climaxes to a serene sweeping pad behind the vocal hook. Kool FM is the first track I see as aimed purely for the clubs. The DJ Friendly four to the floor intro matched with the jungle breaks and sub bass anchor the track as a dancefloor, techno-grade weapon. More of the same comes with Buchla, with spacey panned vocal hooks giving the track an almost hypnotic feel, with atasty drop at around 2.33 by the way.
Then Aerial signals the return of the more melodically experimental sounds in the album. Including an ambiguous and even, unmusical interlude type track entitles Never Ever, which simply includes spoken word recordings layered underneath a strange vocoder type hook. After which we are treated to what I would call the absolute stand-out track on the album. The beautiful and idyllic Unicorn. Starting again with a simple but gorgeous melodic idea, progressed and evolved using creative delay and even a drastic tempo change towards the end, the track seems to have such exotic influences, composed and combined with a n advanced technological knowledge. An absolute masterpiece, so much so that putting it into words has proved quite difficult.
The same could be said about the entire album truthfully. Nothing short of what we expected at abouttoblow.com, and nothing short of absolute genius..