Four Tet | RUG200 | Released: 11/04/05
'Smile Around The Face' represents the ecstatic return of Kieran Hebden, AKA Four Tet. Following the worldwide success of his groundbreaking album, Rounds, Hebden has re-engaged with the dancing in his head, and made a monumental rhythm-based explosion of sound and joy. 'Smile Around The Face' starts with a Roland drum machine pattern reminiscent of 'Shadrach' from The Beastie Boys' undersung masterpiece, Paul's Boutique, and then takes off for someplace special. Its mixture of speeded-up vocal samples - creating an almost ravey vibe - meld beautifully with the bounce of the polyrhythms. Hebden's mastery of the home studio and his ear for melody and pop within forward-looking electronic music is unmatched. Flip the record over and you enter into Hebden's world of Fire Music - 'Sun Drums and Soil' starts as a free drumming solo before dropping down into a lonesome swelling organ line, adrift atop a sea of funk breaks sure to set clubs alight in the coming months.