In March of last year, Four Tet's sole proprietor Kieran Hebden dusted off his Text Records imprint. Originally started in 2001, it had only released eight titles over the course of a decade, but 2011 would prove to be a busy year for Hebden. Rather than rest on the laurels and accolades for 2010's There Is Love in You, he released his entry in the acclaimed Fabriclive series, toured and DJed internationally, and then jumpstarted Text with two plain sleeve 12"'s: "Ego"/"Mirror" was a Four Tet collaboration with dubstep demiurge Burial and some British bloke named Thom Yorke and "Pinnacles"/"Ye Ye" was a split single featuring Four Tet and Caribou's Dan Snaith (before he assumed his Daphni moniker).
The dominant narrative surrounding Pink, from where I'm sitting at least, is Kieran Hebden's newfound embrace of dance music. Where past Four Tet albums have been strictly long-playing affairs, this eight-track release is a compilation of sorts, gathering together a series of vinyl singles released on Hebden's Text imprint over the past year or so.Of course, medium and content don't necessarily dictate one another, but as any vinyl pontificator will tell you there is an important reciprocal relationship between the two. The fact that these tracks saw their first life on wax, in batches of ones and twos, to be listened to in isolation, or perhaps in a DJ mix, looms large over this record.
Review Summary: Pink is something of a victory lap for Hebden, and he'll be damned if he was ever going to release it any other way.While it might be obvious to assume that the mark of any great collaboration is how well two separate forces can work together, it's perhaps even more tantalizing to see how well that collaborative project can reverb within its conspirators long after the fact. For Kieran Hebden, a man who has constantly been accused of always working, the claim must also be made that at the same time he's also always listening as well. For when Hebden (as Four Tet) writes a tune, he brings the whole world with him.
Beats Per Minute (formerly One Thirty BPM) - 67 Based on rating 67%%
Four TetPink[Text Records; 2012]By Brendan Frank; August 24, 2012Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGTweetKieran Hebden has been quite busy as of late. Since dropping 2010’s still stunning There Is Love In You, he has joined forces with Burial and Thom Yorke, curated a festival with Caribou, released an album in the Fabriclive series, and churned out multiple singles. Pink, Hebden’s sixth record as Four Tet and first on his self-starter Text Records, feels like a casualty of this current adventurousness, fragmented by the eclecticism of his other endeavours.
There are moments on Four Tet’s new record, Pink, that immerse the listener in the hypnotic, alien textures that many of us have come to expect from Kieran Hebden (a.k.a. Four Tet). But there are a good many others that cause the annoying, clichéd thought bubble “retro” to pop up in my mind, and as far as I am concerned, that is never a good thing.
You’d be forgiven for not realising that Kieran Hebden had released a new Four Tet album, such was the low-key emergence of this new record. For Pink, self-released on digital-only formats - though a CD is promised for Japan in September - has no marketing push, no radio pluggers, no press people, no advertising, which means that it’s relying purely on word-of-mouth, and the strength of Hebden’s reputation. Luckily, that reputation is strong; he’s been one of the UK’s most consistent and creative electronic musicians for well over a decade now.