When the unlikely pairing of Four Tet (Kieran Hebdan) and Skrillex went back-to-back in March, it was unexpected when they smashed it out of the park. Now, Four Tet talks about how they first came together.
"He approached me to do a remix and then we wanted to work on some music together," Hebdan explains in an interview with Rolling Stone. "We haven't gotten around to finishing anything but then he came to London and had a free day in his schedule. So we chose this unlikely venue in London, this metal club I hadn't been to since a teenager and it was undeniably fun. The crowd went crazy. It was nice to get a sense for what its like for him to play, to see the reactions he gets, to see that from his perspective. There were these young kids worshipping him, just going bananas for the entire set. His style of mixing is really fast and frantic, which was new for me. But it's the way people used to play garage and jungle, in that same spirit."
Hebden adds: "He was probably playing more mellow than normal and I was playing harder than I've ever played before."
He contrasts the b2b with Skrillex with similar back-to-back sets he does with Jamie xx, which he describes as "eclectic" and "slower".
The interview also touched upon his latest album, the two-track Morning/Evening. He said, "I wanted to be this narrative, 20 minutes per side of the record. I still think in terms of records, making that dynamic work." Hebden highlights the influence of his grandfather's collection of Indian ragas, and describes how the passing of his grandparents made him reflect on which parts of his culture he wanted to hold onto and pass to his daughter.
"In the evenings, I would mess with samples from those Hindu records. One was of this famous Indian singer Lata Mangeshkar from an old movie soundtrack and I just got this loop going. I just remember this "eureka" moment, envisioning the track as really long, like 20 minutes long, with this structure similar to ragas. Over the next few days, I could imagine the whole record mapped out in my head, beginning to end, even though there was only three minutes of music so far."
When asked if he will continue making long-form tracks or return to shorter pieces, Hebden freely admits he has no idea. "I feel very liberated, no worry about where I'm going...The key is to have as much of my heart and soul in it."