in 1996, Putney, South London, was the scene of the birth of post-rock
experimentalists Fridge, brainchild of Kieran Hebden, Adem Ilham and Sam
Jeffers. With a distinctive blend of guitars and electronic, the band established
themselves very quickly on the music scene, receiving critical acclaim
for their three albums and numerous Eps. However, Kieran Hebden started
releasing his own material from 1997, under the Four Tet guise. After a
string of 12Ē and a first album, Dialogue, released in 1999, at
the tender age of 21, he is back with his second album, Pause.
After touring with Fridge,
as Badly Drawn Boyís live support band, remixing people as diverse as Aphex
Twin, The Cinematic Orchestra or the µ-ziq/Speedy
J Slag Boom Van Loon project, Hebden escaped the British weather for
a while. Spotted in Toronto exchanging ideas with Manitobaís
Dan Snaith, he quietly put the finishing touch to Pause, before
joining his mates to record the forthcoming Fridge album, Happiness,
due to be released on Hebdenís own Text Records imprint. Obviously drawing
experience from his work with Fridge, Hebden offers with Pause a
somehow very different side of his inspiration. Guitars are here simple
particles in a much bigger picture, only providing a sound base for his
genuinely cooling melodies. All along, the album reminds of Manitobaís
slick ambiences. However, Pause is more constrained than Start
Breaking My Heart. There arenít any excursions into wild sonic soundscapes
here, as Hebden remains in more conventional surroundings than his Canadian
counterpart. This doesnít mean however that Pause is an album to
ignore as he creates some gentle, melodic, atmospheres, with astonishing
ease. The guitar-breeze over Glue Of The World, Everything Is
Alright or You Could Ruin My Day cools down the burning bites
of the sun.
If not a revolutionary record,
is clever enough to grab the attention of the listener and not let go.
Four Tet is more than a side project for Kieran Hebden, as he continues
to explore the realms of electronic music.