Four Tet – Mango Feedback / Watersynth
Soon after winning what has been regarded as a watershed legal case for artists’ royalties rights, Kieran Hebden AKA Four Tet dropped Scythe Master, a reminder to why he’s widely considered a visionary in dance music. It was also a taste of things to come, with the promise of new music on the horizon. That promise came in the form of social media posts teasing a vault of unreleased music, and the appearance of a certain track called Mango Feedback in Hebden’s recent set at Glastonbury. Mango Feedback finally arrives in full form as part of an EP of two tracks, and in the scope of Four Tet, signals the beginning of a new era outside of the label drama that’s mostly kept him in the headlines.
Mango Feedback sets itself to a boxy house shuffle, a tech leaning two-step that could veer into CamelPhat territory. In true Four Tet fashion, Hebden moves into the unexpected with a plucked shamisen refrain that feels slightly off-kilter to the beat. Hebden is the master of wonkiness. His pieces don’t always fit, often intentionally so, yet somehow in his hands they make perfect sense. A deep house bass modulation enters under the strings, along with twinkling chimes and xylophone keys.
Watersynth, meanwhile, demonstrates Hebden’s more spatial and atmospheric abilities. Almost ambient in nature, Watersynth flutters along an undulating arpeggio as various computer sounds and glitches warp around it. Warm, glowing drones create a subaquatic atmosphere as Watersynth ebbs and flows sans beat. Together, the two tracks call back to the Four Tet of years passed, a strangely gentle take on dance music that juxtaposes the propulsive with the docile.
Listen to Mango Feedback below.
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