Four Tet
Sat Oct 1
Doug Fir Lounge
830 E Burnside

Kieran Hebden—otherwise known as the band Four Tet—has, in his relatively brief career, proven himself one of the most startlingly talented figures on the indie experimental electronic music scene. Began as a bedroomy aside to Hebden's band Fridge, Four Tet's primary artistic space (like a lot of laptop-based bands) lies in the manipulation and recontextualization of recorded instruments—sampled and otherwise. Hebden's level of meticulousness sets his music apart, as his source materials are dissected and sewn back together with such intense restlessness—a seemingly unquenchable thirst for subdivision and tiny nudging.

2003's Rounds proved a sizeable breakthrough, a commercially and critically beloved record and inadvertent flagship for the loosely existent "folktronica" genre. Its 10 instantly familiar-feeling and severely pretty tracks proved perfect cultural wallpaper—"lifestyle music"—but also possessed tremendous richness of detail and a sheen of creative fervor.

On the freshly minted Everything Ecstatic, Hebden has abandoned much of the toy box melody and discernible instruments of Rounds and left his brilliant, enthralling drum programming the primary anchor. There are still some completely tender and gorgeous songs, like the brief, struck metal wonderland of "Clouding" and the long, serene album closer, "You Were There With Me," but excitingly these songs maintain the emotional gravity of Rounds with far more unconventional components. Everything Ecstatic is a true and thrilling success in that it feels fearless and directed, a willful jettisoning of a lot of Four Tet's past, but still manages to be seriously unusual and seriously moving.