In recent years, it seemed like producer Kieran Hebden was beginning to move away from the bold and blissful compositions of his Four Tet project. Despite being a prominent and forward-thinking venture for the artist over the last twenty years, he had begun to make a real go of his KH brand, a more club-friendly direction that was picking up just as much kudos as his Four Tet work. But it looks like he has begun to merge these two intentions as his tenth studio album 'Sixteen Oceans' plays as a more retrospective look at the sound he has been developing over the last two decades.
From the very start, 'Sixteen Oceans' makes itself known as a Four Tet record by numbers. The mix of experimental beats and ambient loops remain the staple of this new collection, but there is the odd flair that sees him travel further from his comfort zone, creating a more diverse and eclectic release in the process. It feels that each single on this new full-length represents a different angle of his musical personality that he wants to portray. Sometimes bringing the beats to the forefront of the composition and sometimes leaving them out altogether, he has looked to make these new cuts as adventurous as possible.
Although it never quite gels together as well as it should, it does make for a fresh and vibrant listen, something we can always expect to experience from Four Tet. Each offering is dripping with a wealth of original ideas and concepts, which gives us a rich and textured release that only he could have produced.