I’ve tried to look up when Four Tet last visited Merseyside. I couldn’t find any listings so it must have been a long while. The wait was extended almost a month extra as Kieran suffered a perforated eardrum and has had to cancel a few gigs while recovering. Absolutely no way anyone could have done any different and it’s to the credit of the boys at organisers of Abandon Silence that punters were treated to Ben UFO in January by way of consolation.
To, I’m sure, everyone’s relief Four Tet is back gracing dancefloors and, judging from this outing the man has not lost his touch during the short hiatus. It was a thursday night gig and lights up was scheduled for 3pm so we made our down the stairs of the Shipping Forecast nice and early to catch the residents get the cellar warmed up. The place was heaving from the off. It was my first visit to the venue and at the opening stages of the night with the levels turned a little low, honestly, I was a little dissapointed that the sound wasn’t that great.
It wasn’t hard to smile regardless amid the commedably bubbly weeknight atmosphere and anticipation for the extended 3 hour vinyl only set about to be laid down. Typically idiosyncratic, the set opened up with… who knows? I’m ashamed to say I can’t remember. Anway it was good. The sound picked up too, with a bit more power driven through the awkward spaces got filled nicely.
The opening minutes were dedicated to the more unusual choices. There were recontextualisations of disco sounds and at one point I remember recognising a Jaco Pastorius. In the time since I’ve been unable to match up what I thought I heard. Garage beats, as might be expected provided running motifs. Joy Orbison got a fair outing with “BRTHDTT” and the Boddika collab “Mercy” too.
A few other treats included something that had a kind of muted acid line going through it, some nice dub-ier peices, “Sweet Like Chocolate”, something that had a a bit that sounded like it was played on an organ with the trobone stop pulled but in an unfamiliarly high register, a few cuts from “Pink” and “The Track I’ve Been Playing That People Keep Asking About And That Joy Used In His RA Mix And Daphni Played On Boiler Room”.
The track selection was impeccalbe and the eclectisim was predictably, to anyone who’s sought out recorded mixes, impressive. It was impossible to lose interest in the music even for a moment. Throughout the switching of styles however sight was never lost of the people on the dancefloor so in addition to never forgetting about the music it there were no moments were the music jarred enjoyment. A true masterclass in taste.
One of the great minds of modern music.