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Kieran Hebden And Steve Reid - Exchange Sessions

  by Benjamin Howarth

published: 16 / 3 / 2006

Kieran Hebden And Steve Reid - Exchange Sessions
Label: Select Label
Format: CD


Intriguing collaboation between leading electronica act Kieran Hebdon aka Four Tet and 62 year old jazz artist Steve Reid

When Pennyblackmusic spoke to Kieran Hebdon on his tour last year, he seemed to bubble with excitement about this project, a collaboration with respected jazz artist Steve Reid. It speaks volumes of his label, Domino, that whilst having two of the biggest indie rock bands in Britain on their label in Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys, they will happily release and promote such an uncommercial album. With Four Tet, Kieran makes some of the most enjoyable electronic music I have ever heard. Four Tet’s music is experimental, I suppose, but it always seems to be aimed at the listeners and not just an exercise in self indulgence. Four Tet’s albums suggest a concerted effort to make every track enjoyable and different on the curious assumption that people might be hoping to listen to the album all the way through. This album, however, is an exercise in Kieran enjoying himself and trying something new. No one should expect the clarified approach that characterises Four Tet albums. The collaboration between the star of electronica and a 62 year old jazz artist is hardly likely to provide conventional music. Naturally it is an organic record, and shows the improvisational skills of both. So, we get to hear Kieran’s adventurous spirits, but sadly are not treated to his unique ability to fashion weird textures into articulate finished tracks. If you aren’t the sort of person who wants to persevere with music then you are well advised to steer in the opposite direction from this. Four Tet fans, however, will enjoy the rhythmic music on display here, and there are some lovely passages that sound unlike anything Kieran has done in the past. Even to these ears, untutored as they are in the finer points of jazz, this is, however, no masterpiece. It is never unpleasant, but nor did I ever think "wow". This seems like a step on a road to a great piece of work. There is evidence of Hebden and Reid’s individual brilliance, but perhaps they haven’t formed a perfect partnership yet. But that’s not to say that they never will.

Track Listing:-
1 Morning Prayer
2 Soul Oscillations
3 Electricity And Drum Will Change Your Mind

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