Though he’s only occasionally ventured into hip hop production for dudes such as Atlanta’s zoned-out “beautiful pimp” Rome Fortune, Four Tet (aka Kieran Hebden) can craft luxuriously spacey beats that still manage to snap as well as anyone going. While house and dance are his two default settings, there isn’t much he can’t get a grasp on.
Surprise track “Two Thousand and Seventeen” sees him back in ambient hip hop mode and it’s just marvelous. The nautical cover art is ideal for this track because it brings to mind a dream where you’re swimming in the ocean as the sun beams down on you and unidentifiable fish go swimming by. The sighing background vocals set you adrift on this endless bliss but so too do the hypnotic steel strings that Hebden introduces part way through. All there is to pull you back is the measured percussion. But the world Four Tet crafts here is so deep and immersive that no one thing will make you want to wake up.
Hebden called the new track a “single” on his Twitter account so we might well be getting a new Four Tet record this year.