Four Tet | Pink

Text Records (2012)  
By DAN WEISS  |  September 4, 2012
4.0 4.0 Stars

4tet1

Ironically, this patchwork of 12-inch singles is Kieran Hebden's most delectable album-as-album. Like Burial's equally astounding Street Halo/Kindred two-fer of recent EPs, Pink feels much shorter than its mean track time of eight minutes would suggest, a miracle for minimal techno and his least vocally inclined record since the jazzy broken beat of Rounds. Highlights like "Ocoras," "Jupiters," and the 11-minute stargazing odyssey "Peace for Earth" comprise Hebden's most streamlined, on-the-beat compositions ever, without any crap-earning titles like "Love Cry" or "Angel Echoes." These eight tracks are so pure in their affinity for blinking-lights-at-night bleeps and perfectly dusted drum loops — the album starts just vamping on one for an awesome, stark minute — that it calls to mind Kraftwerk and the Incredible Bongo Band. That is, austere, mature versions of the building blocks of today's IDM, played as moonlit Morse-code tone poems. Some even hark back to the less distant past — the synth twirl on "Locked" reminds us why we fussed about Joker. The only vocal sample on the record, halfway through on the housey, sproinging "Pyramid," isn't just great, it's funky. Had these been the instrumentals on Moby's Play, they could've given the vocal tracks a run for their money.

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