Fresh off the press. A track review of Nova by Four Tet + Burial

5 Mar



I really did tell Chris at one point that I realize I need to mix up my reviews and write one on something bad, and maybe I will. Not today.

I just caught wind of a track Kieran Hebden (Four Tet) tweeted earlier yesterday afternoon, and, as I imagined, it’s a thing of beauty. For Nova, Four Tet once again teams up with the reclusive William Bevan, a dub master known as Burial, combining percussive motifs of both artists into what is undeniably one of the most refreshing, refined efforts the two have exhibited yet. Previous joint releases, including Moth, Ego and Mirror (both with guest Thom Yorke), and Wolf Cub offer extraordinary, multifaceted soundscapes that easily supplement most conscious brain activity (subconscious pending).

The track fades in with soft, jittery waves of female vocals (similar to what Burial did with Massive Attack’s Paradise Circus), which trails into a crisp beat rolling at a tempo wise and textured enough to carry us the majority of the way through our three minutes together. The melody introduces itself as a consistent syncopated progression on simple, muted piano chords. What sounds like harmonizing xylophone / glockenspiel and Burial’s signature airy reverb settle in throughout the latter half of the song like a fog, then decay just before the next set of samples gets the opportunity to muddy the sound. The result is an organic, driving tempo and an exhilarating theme to getting ready in the morning. To your drive to work. To anything inspired. Let this inspire.

Hebden and Bevan attended the Elliott School in London in the early 90’s, a school which, around the same time, churned out members of The XX, Hot Chip, Fridge, and hell, even Dragonforce.

If you haven’t jumped onboard with any of the above artists (hell, even Dragonforce), do so immediately. I don’t know what these guys are eating across the pond, but they’re constantly churning out music that advocates an honest, worthy proponent in the appeal to the IDM genre (except Dragonforce).

[3/3] Best while eating malt vinegar-soaked fish and chips, washed down with a pint of Bass.

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