Album Review

Beautiful Rewind

Beautiful Rewind

by Four Tet


6.5 / 10
13th November 2013

Reviewed by Paul Larsen


In an age when almost every new release is mercilessly marketed with gimmicks, the release of Kieran Hebden’s seventh studio album as Four Tet was billed by the man himself as intentionally low key. “No pre order, no YouTube trailers, no iTunes stream, no Spotify, no Amazon deal, no charts, no bit coin deal, no last minute Rick Rubin” claimed his twitter account, perhaps inadvertently creating an entirely new field of promotion: the anti-hype.

In a way, the lack of hype complements the structure of Beautiful Rewind perfectly. Without a central theme or narrative, Hebden has freed himself to thoroughly dissect his currently favoured jungle and break-beat sound. From the incessantly dark grime-beats of ‘Buchla’ and early release ‘Kool FM’ through to the ambient calm of late track ‘Unicorn’, Beautiful Rewind showcases his talent for experimentation while retaining the key elements which make his music identifiable. Namely his use of mangled samples and half-beats interspersed with recurring female vocal loops.

Although certainly dance-worthy and delightfully eclectic, for all of its lack of ambition what should be a fun and inviting record ultimately lacks charm. Given his renowned ability to destroy, deconstruct and reinvent other artist’s tracks, there's a same-ness to Beautiful Rewind which although not uninvited, is ultimately disappointing.






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