Rounds (Special Anniversary Edition)
Label: Domino Records
Kieran Hebden, the musician better known as Four Tet is celebrating the tenth anniversary of his incredible 2003 LP Rounds with a unique new reissue of the album. Along with the original tracks from the album there is also a second disc of a live set from Copenhagen recorded at the same time of the original release. Since the original release Hebden has produced three more albums, three mix albums, including one for FabricLive.59 all as Four Tet and four more releases under his own name.
For those who remember the album from it’s first airing, the songs are a great combination of sounds, flavors and feelings. “Spirit Fingers” sees intense, staggered and layered sounds, bells and squeaks that build into an stressful climax. “Unspoken” uses piano melodies beneath the regular drum beats and is in turn a beautiful track.
“Chia” shows world music influences with an array of instruments and different interpretation of their sounds.
“And They All Looked Broken Hearted” has asian sounding instrumentals which serves to produce a serene feeling of calm which is actually what the whole album seems to do. Not background music, but calming instrumentals which can take you into a new place. “Slow Jam” is the only song from the album to feature a hint of human vocals in the form of a female utterance at the beginning, like the start point in a recording studio.
The album’s bonus disc showcases three of the tracks from the original release; “She Moves She”, “Spirit Fingers”, “As Serious As Your Life” and “My Angel Rocks Back And Forth” as well as three additional tracks “Everything Is Alright (live in Copenhagen)”, “Glue Of The World (live in Copenhagen)” from previous album Pause and “Hands, No More Mosquitos, Calamine, Tangle (live in Copenhagen)”. The beginning involves the noise, chatter and evocative sound of people enjoying themselves and clapping at a concert and the tracks also have special live modifications and alterations.
Rounds is electronic music that surpasses all expectations of the genre, it’s emotional, sweeping, interesting creations influenced by hip hop, techno, grime, jazz and even folk music. You can’t put Hebden’s music under one bracket, and this celebration of ten years of making music reminds us why.
Reviewed by Heather Welsh.