Label: Output Format: LP,CD
Sharing less of the rock part of post-rock of his other band Fridge, multi-instrumentalist Kieran Hebden expands into wider areas with his debut album as Four Tet, leavening the cycling live drum kit and guitars of opening tracks like “”The Space Of Two Weeks” and “Chiron” with increasing amounts of synth burbles as well as more prominent Jazz elements. What emerges is a transition from the rockist groove and reversed post-production of earlier (in album if not chronological terms) tracks like “Chiron” into full-blown shimmery electronica of “Calamine,” whose development signals an increasingly stronger presence for Four Tet which explodes into the funky manoeuvrings of final track (on vinyl at least) “The Butterfly Effect”.
Along the way the outright Jazz motifs appear regularly; “Liquefaction” and single cut “Misnomer” wander from mellow Fusion territory into the fringes of breakbeat noodling and back again, while “3.3 Degrees From the Pole” has a nicely squealing clockwork undertow, swept by frozen glyphs of underachieving sound before accreting drums well up in an initially hesitant form of motorik be-bop. Later, “She Scanned” chops the linearity of earlier pieces into a hesitant electro shuffle, and throughout Hebden exercises self-control to rein-in from the brink of confusion which might otherwise come without a full studio band to work with.
The CD edition features the three B-side tracks from the “Misnomer” single, which range from the sweeping strings and sax of “Aying” via the more upbeat collision of Free horn noise with colossal beats, scratches and random-seeming sequences of “Fume” to the sub-continental driftwork “Charm”. Fading out in a slightly ponderous mix of sitar and drum rolls, these last tracks are perhaps the most engaging on Dialogue, freed of the aforementioned controlling impulse and let loose in a relatively chaotic burst of energy. Hebden undoubtedly knows how to make his influences stick together coherently, and his future releases in collaboration with Pole and in his other solo identity as Joshua Falken may hold some interesting surprises.
-Antron S. Meister-