Four Tet (UK)
One of the most eclectic minds in electronic music today, Four Tet (aka Kieran Hebden) is one of those rare artists whose records and outlook grows more interesting with age. The core of his ever-expanding horizons, one could argue, is two-fold. On the one hand, a deep appreciation for the obscure ends of free jazz and early electronic outposts has led to a musicologist’s purview of how musical styles evolve. On the other hand, Hebden keeps a very close ear to the ground with what’s going on right now, highlighting and promoting numerous younger acts through his remix work and journeylike DJ sets. Getting his start in the mid-90s as part of post-rock trio Fridge, Hebden released a flurry of albums with the band before releasing his solo debut as Four Tet in 1999. Since then, his work has grown increasingly more surprising and unpredictable. His first major critical success came with 2003’s Rounds, and after 2005’s Everything Ecstatic, he began to make his free-jazz interests more overt, with a series of collaborative albums with cult-legend drummer Steve Reid. 2010’s There Is Love in You proved to be a high watermark for a producer who already had a wealth of accomplishments to his name, firmly establishing Four Tet as creative force in both the indie-rock and electronic realms.