Is he a DJ? Is he a musician? The lines are blurry, but the electro sounds of British producer Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet, are top-notch. Having burst onto the scene in the early noughties, he's garnered praise for his sonic experiments and genre blending, and for his remixes of Super Furry Animals, Radiohead, The xx and Ellie Goulding, among many others. Get to know the multi-talented British producer ahead of his first Beijing appearance.
His debut single was 36 minutes long
36 minutes, 25 seconds to be precise. The name? 'Thirtysixtwentyfive'. London boy Kieran Hebden dropped his free-form, half-hour starter in nineteenninetyeight, initially moving into pastures electronica with Four Tet as a side from his post-rock group, Fridge. It’s a great, flowing listen, but things did become a bit more digestible thereafter, with the release of jazz-tinged debut LP Dialogue coming the following year.
He created the folktronica genre – unintentionally
Four Tet’s breakout came with the release of 2001’s Pause, on esteemed UK label Domino (later home to Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand). Blending dance beats with acoustic elements and samples, it’s also widely credited as being a possible zero point for a genre dubbed 'folktronica' – a très noughties sensation also shown off by Beth Orton, Patrick Wolf, The Books and Caribou. It’s a term Hebden has never been overly enamoured with, and his music has since expanded to deeper experimental and electronic horizons.
His high school is the cradle of British music
There must be something in the water in the Thames-side 'hood of Putney, or more the curriculum at its Elliott School – an institution that has churned out a string of successful UK musicians, from Fleetwood Mac founder Peter Green, to members of Hot Chip, The xx and The Maccabees, plus Hebden and his Fridge mates. Not just musicians too – the class of '69? Pierce Brosnan.
He was nominated for a Grammy this year
For an artist not all that concerned with mainstream limelight, Four Tet did manage to edge into it this year, being up for a Grammy gong in the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category, for his take of The xx’s ‘A Violent Noise’. He lost out in the end, but he’ll still be riding high off the rave reception across the board of last year’s excellent New Energy. Be sure to get in on that energy as he heads to Omni Space this November.