Four Tet is the moniker adopted by Kieran Hebden for the release of his solo-work, which consists primarily of textured, intricate electronica. Four Tet’s brand of electronica is essentially a patchwork of post rock, folk, jazz and hip hop, and his 2003 release Rounds is an excellent pairing for the halibut and grapefruit-jicama salad recipe featured today on eating/SF. The dish is refreshingly tangy, soothing and features an diverse array of flavors and textures – just like Four Tet’s Rounds. The highly textured Rounds is a sonically intriguing album that builds lovely melodies from an array of disparate, well-chosen samples. It is the perfect album for a contemplative but soothing dinner experience alone or dining in duo. Of course, it is best appreciated with a good pair of headphones – and would work equally well while driving, riding public transit or people watching in a crowded place.
The opening track, “Hands,” begins with a warm beat that sounds like an irregular heartbeat, and descends into a collection of off-timed drum samples that continue to evolve into a sputtering, warm melody outlined by trickling guitar and deconstructed keyboard. The second track, “She Moves She” is more traditional in some ways, but is still based around unique instrumentation and screeching buzz-saw like samples, and yet retain a pensive and cerebral tone. My favorite track on the album is the breathtaking, lovely “My Angel Rocks Back and Forth.” This track wheezes alive with what sounds like a medical ventilator accompanied by a simple jewelry box-like melody and a snipped tamborine sample for additional percussion. Other highlights include “Unspoken” and “As Serious As Your Life.”
I’m not sure that Rounds is available on vinyl any longer, but if it is and you can direct me to a site to buy it, please leave a link in the comments section. Although it is available on CD, I recommend getting it on iTunes. Don’t forget to return to eating/sf to read the recipe for the halibut with grapefruit-jicama salad.