Four Tet (Live)
"Spawned from the urge to do something apart from his post-rock band Fridge, Kieran Hebden's Four Tet project balances organic and programmed sounds. Hebden formed Fridge with Sam Jeffers and Adam Ilhan while still in high school. When Fridge went on temporary hiatus for Jeffers and Ilhan to attend college, Hebden spent time playing with ideas gained from hip-hop and electronica that he hadn't had time for while concentrating on the band. Eager to experiment, Hebden bought a computer and began collecting drum and sound samples. Though his tracks sounded contrary, Hebden produced them all in his flat using only his computer to loop, slice, and paste downloaded samples and rhythms. His first full-length was 1999's Dialogue, which was noticed by experimental dub pioneer Pole (Stefan Betke). The two eventually collaborated on a 12", Four Tet vs. Pole, which included an original song by each and a remix of the track done by the other artist. Around the same time, Fridge were signed to the label Go! Beat, owned by Polydor. Hebden retained Four Tet as a side project, however, and released subsequent records Pause (2001) and Rounds (2003) through Domino. The No More Mosquitoes EP and the "My Angel Rocks Back and Forth" single preceded the 2005 release of Everything Ecstatic. In 2006, Hebden put together two compilations of some of his favorite tracks, LateNightTales and DJ-Kicks, as well as Everything Ecstatic Films & Part 2. The two-disc Remixes was also compiled and released that year, as were two volumes of his Exchange Session project with jazz drummer Steve Reid. These two volumes found Hebden working under his proper name for a change. This trend continued when their third collaboration, Tongues, arrived in 2007. The four-track Ringer, issued the following year, was the first Four Tet release in over four years, and it was trailed by the critically adored full-length There Is Love in You in early 2010." - Diana Potts, AllMusicGuide
Drew Cyrus Lustman is a musician in love with complexity and beautiful simplicity alike. On the one hand, the 26-year-old one-time sushi chef grew up playing piano and upright bass in jazz and classical groups, and cites Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Squarepusher and Weather Report as life-changing influences; on the other, he loves clubs, loves to dance, and considers hip hop, house, jungle and UK garage to be as important as any of those virtuoso musicians.
Vitally, there is no sense of any divide between these influences – Drew does not see technical music as separate from music that is there to stimulate good feelings and soundtrack good times. His first releases in 2007 may have been unashamedly Squarepusher-influenced IDM, but they were tracks for the rave and not mere exercises in programming complexity, and listening to their tear-out jungle breaks now, they are unmistakeably the work of a man who dances in the studio. Which he does. And even more impressively, in his more recent releases, these precursors from across the globe and throughout musical history are tied together on the later tunes that brought him to global attention into a sound that could only come under the city lights of his adoptive home of New York in the 21st century.
The breakthrough with these latter tracks came when he dropped the tempo and allowed his beats to breathe, which found him a natural home on the British label Planet Mu, itself revitalised by its immersion in the possibilities of the dubstep and post-dubstep underground. Centring on the rhythms of UK garage provided the key which unlocked Drew's natural sense of the interconnectedness of electronic funk styles, the limber beat patterns allowing him to forward from UKG into dubstep space, back into NYC's orginal garage and further back still towards disco. The rolling rhythms of jungle were still there too, albeit sublimated, and underlying it all was the fresh-to-death gleam and defiant boom of hip hop.
His timing was impeccable: the 'Love Is A Liability' album and 'Bravery' EP came just as the post-dubstep underground was becoming far more fluid, and his easy stylistic shifts provided the perfect bridge between the new garage of artists like Brackles and Geiom, the cosmic hip hop of LA and Glasgow, and those people who were falling in love with house music all over again via Funky, Omar S and Karizma. But where some English producers might say "it's all house", he says "it's all hip hop! Ya dig?"
Back in New Haven, Conneticut where he was born, a younger Drew would let his mind roam: smoking a lot of pot and "watching the paint drip off the paintings" in the Yale Art Museum, or sitting at home reading Herman Hesse's Journey to the East and Siddhartha over and over. Now, thanks purely to those two Planet Mu releases, he is travelling in person all over the planet. Drew still has the yen to make wild jungle, and one day maybe he'll end up back in smoky jazz clubs. But right now, he's still as in love with current club music as the scene is with him, slipping easily between and ahead of new genre collisions even as they happen. It takes improvisatory skills to deal with a musical world that shifts and reconfigures as wildly as that of 2010 – but if anyone has those skills it's FaltyDL.