My introduction to Four Tet’s expansive electronic sound came with 2010’s incredible There Is Love in You. Combining a mixture of electronic, house, hip-hop music among with other influences, his sound has influenced a generation of musicians, and provided beautiful, soulful music for millions to listen to. He has been fairly consistent with his albums too, releasing gems I love such as 2003’s ethereal and memorable Rounds, 2013’s dynamic and aggressive Beautiful Rewind and 2017’s sonically diverse and expansive New Energy. On his brand new album Sixteen Oceans, the talented UK-based artist continues to push his sound forward with incredibly lush and textured sounds that capture a sense of optimism and positivity, which is something I definitely needed at this point in time.
The album feels simultaneously fluid and disjointed at the same time, which isn’t a bad thing at all. Each tracks carries its own aura, style and sound. From the dynamic and fast-paced opener “School” to the angelic and synth-heavy closer “Mama Teaches Sanskrit,” this project is full of memorable moments. The bass-heavy “Teenage Birdsong” features what sounds like a flute, bringing a soft and soulful melody to the track. “Insect Near Piha Beach” is one of my favourites on this album, with a pulsating beat, angelic vocals and an angelic, breathtaking sitar melody that makes the hairs on my back stand up. The raw beauty and ethereal tone on this track in particular is what makes it stand out from the rest. The meditative synth-heavy melody on “Green” is also beautiful, meditative moment on the album, and the same goes with the stunning “This Is for You.” Four Tet’s ability to create soulful, meditative and spiritual music year in year out is what makes him one of the most exciting artists still working today. He doesn’t push the boundaries with Sixteen Oceans, he doesn’t need to. His music is timeless, and I just hope he continues creating gems like these for years to come!
Listen to Four Tet’s 10th studio album Sixteen Oceans below via Bandcamp and don’t forget to support! Released via P+C Text Records.