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Spawned by the urge to do something apart from his post-rock band Fridge, Kieran Hebden's Four Tet project balances organic and programmed sounds. Hebden formed Fridge with Sam Jeffers and Adem Ilhan while still in high school. When Fridge went on temporary hiatus for Jeffers and Ilhan to attend college, Hebden spent time playing with ideas gained from hip-hop and electronica that he hadn't had time to develop. Eager to experiment, Hebden bought a computer and began collecting drum and sound samples. Though his tracks sounded like they were made through another method, Hebden produced them all in his flat using only his computer to loop, slice, and paste downloaded samples and rhythms. The first Four Tet full-length was Dialogue (May 1999), which was noticed by experimental dub pioneer Pole (Stefan Betke). The two eventually collaborated on a 12", Four Tet vs. Pole, which included an original song by each and a remix of the track done by the other artist. Around the same time, Fridge were signed to the label Go Beat, owned by Polydor. Hebden retained Four Tet as a side project, however, and released subsequent albums Pause (May 2001) and Rounds (May 2003) through Domino. The No More Mosquitoes EP and the "My Angel Rocks Back and Forth" single preceded Everything Ecstatic (May 2005). Hebden subsequently put together compilations of some of his favorite tracks, LateNightTales and DJ-Kicks, as well as Everything Ecstatic Films & Part 2. The two-disc Remixes was also compiled and released that year (2006), as were two volumes of his Exchange Session project with jazz drummer Steve Reid. The latter two volumes found Hebden working under his proper name for a change. This trend continued with his third Reid collaboration, Tongues (March 2007). The four-track Ringer, issued the following year, was the first Four Tet release in over four years. It was trailed by the critically adored There Is Love in You (January 2010), Pink (August 2012), and Beautiful Rewind (October 2013). The latter two were released on Hebden's Text label. Throughout these years, Hebden also collaborated with the likes of David Arnold and former schoolmate Burial and released more dancefloor-oriented material as Percussions. The Four Tet album Morning/Evening (July 2015) consisted of two side-length tracks and was introduced with a performance at the Mayfield Depot in Manchester, England. ~ Diana Potts
1980 in London, England