Four Tet Morning/Evening Text
There’s something profoundly cyclical about Morning/Evening, Kieran Hebden’s eighth studio album as Four Tet. Citing an inherited collection of his late grandfather’s Hindu devotional records as its underpinning influence, the sounds of his Indian heritage run through the veins of the LP. Comprised of two 20-minute halves, as Morning Side explores the sounds that shaped his childhood and his heritage – most strikingly through the poignant vocal sample from the 1983 Bollywood film Souten – the gently thumping outro to Evening Side pulsates with the house rhythms explored through his present.
Just as sunrise and sunset are awash with haziness, Hebden shies away from anything too arresting or acute. Sure, its final moments could easily find themselves reverberating off basement walls, but for the most part the LP is hung in a kind of celestial airiness where tiny sonic ripples dance across its soundscape.
And so Morning/Evening requires an element of patience. Unlike 2013’s Beautiful Rewind there’s no instant gratification of a four-minute floor-rattler, nothing to match the heavyweight of cuts like Parallel Jalebi or Kool FM. Instead, as one 40-minute entity, it is an intricately constructed piece that ventures into expansive and ambitious realms. For all of its bloated glow and slowly stretched progression, Hebden’s kaleidoscopic blend of cosmic and organic sounds are totally rewarding. It may not pack the strongest punch, but it draws you out of the rushing everyday into somewhere far more serene.