Issue December 10, 2013

Beautiful Rewind

Four Tet
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Beautiful Rewind sees Keiran Hebden’s Four Tet branch out from the fractured pop of his previous efforts. Here, Hebden focuses less on the heavily edited vocal and radio samples that seemed to dominate his prior work, instead privileging staccato, house-style beats with minimal, almost granular melodic work interwoven into an otherwise drum-driven affair. A lot of Beautiful Rewind seems beholden to acts like Gas or Pan*American, emphasizing atmosphere and subtlety into traditional house music tropes. Opener “Gong” serves as a fantastic preface to the remainder of the album; the majority of the tracks are reflections of Hebden’s typically colorful but remarkably more beat-driven efforts. Of all the tracks, the darkly kinetic “Parallel Jalebi,” which paradoxically manages to seem relaxing and energetic, particularly stands out as truly exemplary of the marriage between Hebden’s old and new styles.