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March 8, 2010 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Four Tet—There Is Love In You (TILIY)


As I presume it was for quite a few people, the Burial and Four Tet’s collaborative 12” single ‘Moth / Wolf Cub’ was one of my most played releases of last year. More than anything, it served its purpose of getting me psyched for the future output of both artists. There Is Love In You (TILIY), Four Tet’s first full-length album in close to five years, reaffirms that he remains one of the most proficient electronic producers of our time, and like last year’s terrific split single, reminds me of exactly why I adore headphone music.

Four Tet, a true muso if ever there was one, has always had a knack for melodically layering his eclectic samples. These sounds—often created from recording organic instruments, sometimes of a folkish origin—led to the press lamely tagging his music as “folktronica” in the early 2000s. Previously I would have said 2003’s Rounds most effectively captured this ability to create warm textured electronica—a talent somewhat absent from his last album, 2005’s more abrasive Everything Ecstatic—but TILIY has now taken his melodic gifts to new places.

Whereas past records were largely constructed over hip hop-inspired beats, TILIY opts to utilise a formula loosely tied to the hypnotic pulse of minimal techno (similar to The Field), while still remaining largely constructed from organic samples. It makes a fitting break for those who could have seen his previous output as a mere continuation of trip-hop/coffee house electronica. The end results, although they downplay the man’s flare for snazzy beats, are still gobsmacking in their ability to take tracks masterfully to the brink of textual overload. As a whole, with such a clear formula apparent, TILIY may also be Four Tet’s most cohesive full-length to date.

The fantastic thing is, usually a record like TILIY could remain uncontested as the year’s finest electronic release. But with releases scheduled for both Burial and Flying Lotus (among others) later this year, one can only sit tightly in anticipation; if they match the standards of this album then 2010 looks to be one truly exciting year for electronic music.

4.5 stars


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