Domino - 42 minutes
The electronic music movement has created its own kind of star - the bedroom producer. These lone rangers operate in a introverted world of Apple G5's and dirty coffee cups, working through the night, lit only by the blue light of their computer monitors.
So take your pick - the 'juddering' glitch-hop of Scott Herren's Prefuse 73, the camp tomfoolery of Jimi Tenor or the apocalyptic howl of Aphex Twin, the original bedroom god-head. Or if you're of a mellow bent, there's Kieran Hebden.
Dialogue and Pause, his first two long-players as Four Tet, didn't exactly set the world alight, but the third (Rounds) caused a commotion. Hebden's combination of experimental percussion and guitar melodies seemed to capture the zeitgeist, as the listeners tired of the sterility of slick, overproduced chillout compilations.
Rounds' mixture of traditional instruments and programming spawned a new genre, folktronica, a term that Hebden professes to despise. Perhaps 'Everything Ecstatic's percussive pummel is his attempt to shrug off the mantle of melody. The album begins with a jazzy drumroll and a fuzzy bassline, as if Art Blakey was jamming with the Chemical Brothers.
And Then Patterns takes a heavy hip-hop break, cuts it up, and then adds a wondrous layer of chiming piano. The two sounds battle each other, then join forces. This is liquid, expressive, abstract music. When the song tails off into a lengthy, almost vacant quiet you feel that you hearing the sound of the earth going to sleep.
There's more atmospheric elegance scattered around 'Everything Ecstatic', even some of the tracks are a little under-developed. Four Tet's latest is another fascinating and occasionally breathtaking release - not quite ecstatic, but comes pretty damn close.
Tracklisting: A Joy - Smile Around the Face - Fuji Check - Sun Drums and Soil - Clouding - And Then Patterns - High Fives - Turtle Turtle Up - Sleep, Eat Food, Have Visions - You Were There With Me