The Brilliance of Four Tet Live

Originally a letter to a friend
A primary figure in the London electronic scene. I don’t know how much you’d like his style as it’s electronic dance music drawing heavily from quick tempo genres like rave and house. He makes use of extended samples from obscure deep cuts – free jazz drum solos, African guitar lines as examples – that become primary elements to his tracks. The samples are so long that I think of them more as fragments where entire pieces of songs are extracted and built around. The consistent appeal in his music is this unfinished sloppiness that’s refreshingly human in the often robotic world of electronic music. 
None of his studio tracks have felt appropriate for the playlist but I recently discovered these live albums and I think they’re worth sharing. Watch this video before listening to get a sense of his setup.
The albums showcase the versatility of that setup, each pulling from the same songs but sounding vastly different. The Alexandra Palace show has a constant thump more inline with a standard club set versus the exploratory and atmospheric show at Funkhaus Berlin.
Technically the performances aren’t much more than noodling with loops but live it creates a special listening experience. Using familiar sounds to create something new, it’s as if he’s questioning your memory of the song and challenging you to appreciate it in a new way. An illustration of how the portability of electronics has created a new instrument that goes beyond the production of sounds. This has been done before but few deconstruct as much as Four Tet. It takes a certain combination of ability and confidence to try something so freeform with an audience. Bitches Brew for the laptop age or Jerry’s alternate timeline as a DJ.
I’ll end with a comment on the awesome light setup he’s used for the past few tours. Like the music it lends itself to different perspectives: from the outside a hypnotic whole ( or a sense of intimacy inside (
Best played loud