Written By: Charlotte Hingley
Photos: Four Tet & VILLAGE UNDERGROUND UK
Four Tet has once again proved why he is a magician of electronic music – ‘Sixteen Oceans’, his newest album edition, is an elegantly crafted soundtrack consisting of 16 musical pieces that infuse and enrich each other; the songs entwine together to create music that is tantalizingly ambient.
The entire album is interwoven together by the encompassing vibrations of bass and the glistening, harmony of synth – Four Tet’s signature sounds.
The album opens with ‘School’, within the first few seconds, thanks to the thumping bass beat, the audio is already shaken up and you know you are in for a good ride. Four Tet proceeds with his artistry to incorporate little droplets of synth, doing what he does best to create music that amplifies gradually.
We are then carried seamlessly into one of the most acclaimed songs of the album so far, ‘Baby’, to experience a beautiful rendition of Ellie Goulding’s haunting vocals that fade in and out of the track. It is now that we first hear a glimpse of birds tweeting – Four Tet effortlessly starts the suspenseful climb to ‘Teenage Birdsong’, the album’s first EP release last year. The album peaks with ‘Insect Near Piha Beach’, which is perhaps the heaviest track on the album, however, of course Four Tet incorporates that alluring string instrument rhythm to once again craft his trademark electro beats.
The tempo rapidly declines after this tune, with the ambient sounds becoming even more intoxicating like the tranquil calm after the storm. This half of the album is extremely harmonious, with the pace increasingly slightly for ‘Something in the Sadness’, but nevertheless the vibrations pulsate and twinkle, creating an image of dancing and wandering light – the entire album possesses a virtuous and pure energy.
This album could not have been released at a better time – in the wake of Coronavirus, when there is a feeling of uncertainty and uneasiness in the air, the delightful melodies of this soundtrack can offer some sort of solution to anxiety and stress. Each song evokes a warm, glowing sensation that will temporarily lift that bookey underlying concern that everyone is experiencing right now.
If you are wanting a peaceful interlude to the chaos that is prevailing around us – this could be the answer you have been looking for.