Kieran Hebden, AKA Four Tet, has spent the last two decades delivering some of the most blissful and smooth tunes in electronic music. Across records such as 'Rounds', 'There Is Love In You' and most recently 2017's 'New Energy', the London producer has injected his sound with the prettiest melodies, firm grooves and a transcendent sense of zen. This all often comes together in his music to offer an overall mystically peaceful, yet grounded and danceable atmosphere, so you can both relax and bop to it. He hits London's Alexandra Palace for a one-of-a-kind show.
Even before Four Tet starts, it's a very unique set-up to this show. There's a platform with Four Tet's gear in the middle of the huge, cathedral-like Alexandra Palace, surrounded by lots of dangling bulb lights. An hour or two before Four Tet even starts people are huddled amongst the hanging lights, that are dull for now, no doubt to make sure they're close but also with much glee and curiosity of what said lights will bring.
When it does get to the show, Four Tet kicks things off with the throbbing but wistful 'Planet' to much bopping. The way this track marries pulsing clicks and eastern sitar noodling creates an atmosphere that's both club-like and spiritual. The lights begin to go into all kinds of sequences from an overall field of multiple colours to patterns that are like a swarm of rainbow, dazzling bees. He plays much from 'New Energy', with tracks like 'Two Thousand And Seventeen' continuing the ethereal-rave vibes.
There are some older gems too. 'Kool Fm' takes a more cold, hard stomp to the 4/4 house pace and gradually works up to cascading drum loop shuffles to really kick things up a notch. Speaking of stepping things up, 'Spirit Fingers' is a real treat with its spectral jittering darts igniting a bit more movement in the crowd. Four Tet even injects some new clattering breakbeats into the track for people to really stomp.
Admittedly, you're left craving just a bit more of the speed and punch that is within Four Tet, even if he is more known for blissful material. This show is a trip to inner peace and wonderful for that reason, but this moment was a great switch-up and the show could've done with even more.
Overall, this was truly a uniquely majestic experience. It's rare that huge shows in grand venues like this can bring a level of intimacy, but the way people were huddled around Four Tet made it feel like he was one with them. The lights made it feel like its own little realm and it's a realm you should visit if you ever get the chance.