Baker's Dozen

Artists discuss the 13 records that shaped their lives

4. Four TetRounds

When I was in year 9, an older guy I knew who was really interested in making films introduced me to Four Tet’s ‘Unspoken’, because he wanted to make his own music video for it. I’d never heard the track before, or of Four Tet, so I immediately got a hold of Rounds.

Even though ‘Unspoken’ was my gateway track, it’s the fragility of the atmosphere that he’s created with tracks like ‘My Angel Rocks Back And Forth’ that makes Rounds really special. I didn’t look at how it was received critically at the time, but I’m under the impression that this did really well as a record – and seeing as it has 12 different versions, this was one of his breakthroughs.

With some of the other albums on the list, such as the LTJ Bukem, Burial and Helios LPs, it can be quite overwhelming when you’re completely unaware of someone and suddenly be presented with such a strong body of work. Who is this person? What are they trying to tell me? If someone discovers Four Tet for the first time today, where would they start with his work in the last three years, never mind the last fifteen? I was listening to Rounds in tandem with a lot of instrumental hip-hop, true, but Kieran’s music is very delicate, so it created an interesting contrast.

The last couple of full-length releases he’s made have been on more of a compilation tip – pulling together five or six different dancefloor 12"s, and releasing them as one – so he seems to have moved away from the mood and format of Rounds slightly. But what I really like about him is his restlessness; producing for Omar Souleyman and remixing Coldplay in between writing solo albums. I don’t know where he gets the energy. I respect the fact that he’s not resting on his laurels.

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