|Also known as|
|Born||September 1977 (age 43–44)|
|Origin||Putney, London, England|
Kieran Hebden (born September 1977), best known by the stage name Four Tet, is an English musician active in electronic music. Hebden first came to prominence as a member of the post-rock band Fridge before establishing himself as a solo artist with charting UK releases such as Rounds (2003) and Everything Ecstatic (2005). In addition to his eleven studio albums as Four Tet, Hebden's work includes a number of improvisational works with jazz drummer Steve Reid and collaborations with Burial and Thom Yorke.
Alongside his own recordings, Hebden has produced albums by American improvisational group Sunburned Hand of the Man and Syrian dabke singer Omar Souleyman, and arranged the 2021 Madlib album Sound Ancestors. He has also remixed tracks by artists including Aphex Twin, Bicep, Explosions in the Sky, Bloc Party, Super Furry Animals, Radiohead, Ellie Goulding, J Dilla, Lana Del Rey, Manic Street Preachers, Sia, Black Sabbath and Madvillain; several of these were collected on the compilation Remixes (2006).
Kieran Hebden was born in Putney, London, England, to a South African-born Indian mother and a sociology lecturer father. He attended Elliott School in Putney, where he formed the band Fridge with classmates Adem Ilhan and Sam Jeffers. The band signed a recording contract when Hebden was 15, and released their first album, Ceefax, on Trevor Jackson's Output Recordings label in March 1997. While working with Fridge, Hebden went on to earn a degree in maths and computer studies from Manchester University.
Hebden's first solo release was the 1997 single "Double Density", released on the Output label under the artist name 4T Recordings. He began releasing material as Four Tet in 1998 with the 36 minute, 25 second single "Thirtysixtwentyfive". Later that year, he released another single, the jazz-influenced "Misnomer". 1999's Dialogue, again on Output, was Four Tet's first full-length album release and fused hip hop drum lines with dissonant jazz samples. This was followed by the double A-side single "Glasshead"/"Calamine", which was to be Four Tet's last release on Output.
In late 1999, Warp Records released Warp 10 + 3: Remixes, a tenth-anniversary compilation of remixes of Warp tracks. Hebden contributed a remix of the opening track of Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, which was considered to be his break-out release.
In 2001, Four Tet's second album Pause was released on Domino Recording Company and found Hebden using more folk and electronic samples, which was quickly dubbed "folktronica" by the media and press in an attempt to label the style (often also applied to artists such as Isan and Gravenhurst). Rounds was released in May 2003. Three singles were released from the album: "She Moves She", "As Serious as Your Life" and "My Angel Rocks Back and Forth". This last single was released as an EP featuring remixes by electronica duo Icarus and Isambard Khroustaliov along with additional Four Tet tracks "I've Got Viking in Me" and "All the Chimers". An accompanying DVD featured all of Four Tet's videos to date. In addition, the closing track "Everything is Alright" was featured in a U.S. Nike commercial in 2001 and 2002.
At the beginning of 2003, Four Tet opened for Radiohead on their European tour. A remix of the song "Scatterbrain" from Radiohead's sixth studio album Hail to the Thief was released in November 2003 as a B-side to the single "2 + 2 = 5" and later included on their 2004 EP COM LAG (2plus2isfive). Furthermore, Hebden was among the people thanked by Radiohead in the booklet accompanying their 2007 In Rainbows "discbox" release.
In March and April 2005, Four Tet performed two shows of improvisational music, in collaboration with jazz drummer Steve Reid, in Paris and London. He also appears on Steve Reid Ensemble 2005 album Spirit Walk. This collaboration was extended into a series of international tours, and the release of two albums, The Exchange Session Vol. 1 and The Exchange Session Vol. 2 over the course of 2005 and 2006.
His fourth studio album Everything Ecstatic was released on Domino on 23 May 2005. The video for the lead single, "Smile Around the Face", features actor Mark Heap. On 7 November 2005, Domino released a DVD version of Everything Ecstatic featuring video clips for each track of the album plus a CD with new material, titled Everything Ecstatic Part 2, which was later made available as an individual EP.
He wrote a miscellaneous song called "Go Go Ninja Dinosaur" for the charity album Colours Are Brighter, released in 2006.
Hebden has also remixed, under the Four Tet name, tracks by a wide range of artists including Tegan And Sara, Madvillain, Andrew Bird, Bloc Party, Super Furry Animals, Beth Orton, Badly Drawn Boy, CYNE, The Notwist, Boom Bip, Battles, Kings of Convenience, Lars Horntveth, Bonobo, Rothko, The xx, Thom Yorke and Radiohead. On 25 September 2006, Domino Records released Remixes, a two-disc compilation of Four Tet remixes. The first disc contains twelve Four Tet remixes selected by Hebden, with the second disc comprising every official remix to date (both by Hebden himself and by other artists) of Four Tet tracks, many of which had previously been available on vinyl only. A new EP, Ringer, was released on 21 April 2008.
In 2009, Hebden worked on a secret collaboration with former schoolmate Burial. The two track 12" was released with a plain black cover with no liner notes or details contained on the vinyl, other than the artists' names and the track titles: "Moth" and "Wolf Cub". The release was universally critically acclaimed.
In November 2009, details of the fifth full-length Four Tet album were released. Heavily influenced by a stint DJing at the Plastic People club in Shoreditch and entitled There Is Love in You, it was released on 25 January 2010. The album was preceded by a limited edition release of the 12" single "Love Cry".
In 2011, Hebden released a split 12" with Burial and Thom Yorke, entitled "Ego"/"Mirror". He began to release music under the alias Percussions, following a track he produced on his Fabriclive mix CD. He was chosen by Caribou to perform at the ATP Nightmare Before Christmas festival that they co-curated in December 2011 in Minehead, England.
In 2012 Hebden collaborated again with Burial on the track "Nova".
The sixth full-length Four Tet album, Pink, consisting of eight tracks, six of them already released as singles, was released on 20 August 2012 through Hebden's own record label, Text Records. Hebden followed up Pink with 0181 on 15 January 2013. 0181 is a collection of unreleased material from 1997-2001, collected as one track and released online. A vinyl version was also released on the Text Records label.
Hebden released the seventh Four Tet album, Beautiful Rewind, in October 2013, and his eighth album, Morning/Evening in July 2015. In October 2015, Hebden released a remix of Eric Prydz's "Opus" under his Four Tet pseudonym.
Hebden undertook a month-long residency as Four Tet for online radio station NTS Radio in May 2014. He has been an occasional DJ for NTS, playing in February, June and November 2015, and again alongside fellow DJ and producer Floating Points in June and October 2016, and March 2017.
On 1 March 2019, Hebden released Only Human, his first new track since his last album, New Energy, the track was named 'Best New Music' by Pitchfork, shortly after release. A month after, on 17 April 2019, Hebden released another new single, "Teenage Birdsong".
In May 2019, Hebden played 2 shows at London's Alexandra Palace, his largest shows to date. The performance was filmed as part of the music video for Teenage Birdsong. A live recording of the two shows was released on 29 July 2019 under his "4TLR" moniker.
On 29 August 2019, Hebden had released a collection of three brand new songs as part of an EP called Anna Painting. The project was made in collaboration with painter Anna Liber Lewis, and features artwork by Liber Lewis in the release.
On 21 January 2020, Hebden announced his tenth album Sixteen Oceans for release in March.
Starting in September 2020, Hebden began a string of concurrent live streams. The livestreams included songs from other artists as well as his own remixes. The music was accompanied by various animations from artists, including Anna Liber Lewis. Some of the material was released on Christmas Day of 2020 across two albums, Parallel and 871, under the Four Tet and 00110100 01010100 monikers respectively.
Information about a second collaboration with Burial and Thom Yorke, entitled Her Revolution / His Rope, surfaced around 2 December 2020, and a very limited 12" was released in three known record stores.
AllMusic's Paul Simpson called Hebden "perhaps the definitive indie electronic artist," noting that his "experimental yet highly accessible recordings, which blend organic and electronic sounds, have earned widespread acclaim from critics and fans of electronic music as well as indie rock." His work has drawn influence from styles such as spiritual jazz, krautrock, folk music, and hip-hop. According to Piotr Orlov of Pitchfork, Hebden's music has touched on genres such as folktronica, electronic jazz, and global trance, with his 2003 album Rounds specifically drawing from hip-hop's collage approach and "pushing IDM into a whole new space." Hebden rejected critics' early labeling of him as a "folktronica" artist as misleading, calling attention to the influence of hip-hop oriented producers such as Rodney Jerkins and Timbaland on his work.
Albums (as Four Tet)
- Dialogue (Output Recordings, May 1999)
- Pause (Domino Records, 28 May 2001)
- Rounds (Domino Records, 5 May 2003) – UK #60
- Everything Ecstatic (Domino Records, 23 May 2005) – UK #59
- There Is Love in You (Domino Records, 25 January 2010) – UK #35, US #157
- Pink (Text Records, 20 August 2012) – UK #74
- Beautiful Rewind (Text Records, October 2013)
- Morning/Evening (Text Records, June 2015) – UK #48
- New Energy (Text Records, September 2017) – UK #48
- Sixteen Oceans (Text Records, 13 March 2020) – UK #34
- Parallel (Text Records, 25 December 2020)
- Late Night Tales: Four Tet (Azuli Records, 4 October 2004) (DJ mix album compiled by Hebden)
- DJ-Kicks: Four Tet (Studio !K7, 26 June 2006) (mix album in the DJ-Kicks series)
- FabricLive.59 (Fabric Records, September 2011) (mix album in the Fabric discography series)
Albums (as Kieran Hebden)
- The Exchange Session Vol. 1 (with Steve Reid; Domino Records, 27 February 2006)
- The Exchange Session Vol. 2 (with Steve Reid; Domino Records, 22 May 2006)
- Tongues (with Steve Reid; Domino Records, 19 March 2007)
- NYC (with Steve Reid; Domino Records, 4 November 2008)
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- [dead link]
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- Kim, Michelle; Monroe, Jazz (21 January 2020). "Four Tet Announces New Album Sixteen Oceans". Pitchfork. Archived from the original on 21 January 2020. Retrieved 22 January 2020.
- "🔴🌏⭕🔵🌕📀🌍⚫💿🌎🐦🐧🐤🌎💿⚫🌍📀🌕🔵⭕🌏🔴". Retrieved 6 December 2020.
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- . 1 December 2020 https://www.instagram.com/p/CIQ1CtNHmFs/. Retrieved 6 December 2020. Missing or empty
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- Orlov, Piotr. "The 50 Best IDM Albums of All Time". Pitchfork. Retrieved 4 February 2021.
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