Track Review: Four Tet – “Jupiters” / “Ocoras”

[Text; 2012]

Multi-instrumentalist Kieran Hebden, also known as Four Tet, has released numerous records since the late ’90s. A member of Fridge as well as releasing his solo works, Hebden has rarely had a year in recent memory where he hasn’t come out with some sort of album or single. While his latest solo album, There Is Love In You was one of 2010s best electronic records, he has also spent a great deal of time remixing tracks for other artists, as well as working with Burial and Thom Yorke in 2011. Now he’s back with two new singles under the Four Tet name, “Jupiters” and “Ocoras,” both of which are quintessential examples of Hebden’s sound.

They both sound very much in-line with his There Is Love In You output. “Jupiters” starts out simply, with twinkly synths and delicate sounds, before a short silence paves the way for the beats. Hebden has always been rather subtle with his beat-making, using them to create natural, quick rhythms rather than bass-heavy affairs, and the same quality remains true here. While the loops are simple, the reintroduction of the synthesiser melody throughout compliments the beat well. In the latter half of the song, chopped up vocal clips enter the mix, similar to “Love Cry” from his last album. While it’s not among Four Tet’s best, “Jupiters” is enjoyable to listen to due to its relative simplicity.

“Ocoras” reverses things, beginning with the beats and then introducing more complex synthesiser loops, blips and sounds in its latter half. Nevertheless, the track doesn’t really go anywhere outside of its original beat loop, sounding more like an extended experiment than an actual song. While it’s pleasant enough to listen to, the lack of vocal clips and any major changes throughout leaves it as a passable effort that neither offends nor excites.

These tracks are both likely minor experiments under the Four Tet name, which is a good thing, as they don’t show Hebden working at his creative best. However, while they may be a little disappointing, he does have a unique sound, creating rather gentle, accessible electronic rhythms that don’t impose too heavily. Outside of being inoffensive, however, there’s not a lot here to come back to.

“Jupiters” – 6/10

“Ocoras” – 4/10