Menu | Rating System | Guest Book | Archived Reviews:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


FOUR TET w/ Koushik, Cyne, and DJ Leb-Laze






East Atlanta , GA

Reviewed by:
Performance Rating:
Sound Quality:
Overall Rating:

I am an indie rocker who enjoys electronic music. There, i admitted it. Every once in a while an electronic musician whose music i tremendously enjoy will come into town, and even though i have low expectations, i usually go out to watch them. You see, electronic music is not a live genre. There is no stage show. Instead, people are trapped behind tables full of electronic gear, and for all i know they spend their entire performance bopping their head and playing computer games. There is no visible causality between what these musicians do on stage and the music that comes out of the sound system. I have seen many electronic musicians make wonderful albums, but have no show whatsoever to speak of, and thus there is no reason to go out to see them. (Autechre is the most famous example, although when i saw Ulrich Schnauss at SXSW, the "show" consisted of watching him sit at a chair behind a bank of laptops.)

So Four Tet came on tour, and since i have really enjoyed his two albums to date (Pause and Rounds, both worth checking out) i decided to go and check him out. I also dragged Tracers along. At the very least, we could stand around and talk and have a couple of beers.

When we got to The EARL, the first "performer" was already on. It was a local DJ named DJ Leb-Laze. (I dunno what that name is supposed to signify.) This was a scruffy white guy who looked like your standard local indie rocker, except he was spinning some tolerable white boy hip-hop. The most amusing part of his set was that he "played" a Dell Laptop that looked suspiciously like the one i use. His performance was, well, boring. Mostly it consisted of watching him flip through his box of records. Occasionally he would put one on, tweak some knobs a bit, then go back to looking through records. And he only had one crate with him -- i'd guess about 75 albums, but he kept looking through them and looking through them.... Anyway, the music was okay, but there was no point in watching the stage. His set got boring after about 20 minutes of samey music and no stage show. But he kept playing and playing...

Eventually he left the stage and Cyne set up. This act consisted of two rappers and one DJ. Hey -- at least the rappers move around and provide something to watch! Nevertheless, we two middle aged white indie rockers lasted through one song of people doing those rapper hand gestures you see on TV, and a lot of shouts of "Yo!", and then we retired to the front bar, a safe, rap-free zone.

After a beer or so, Cyne left the stage and we went back to the music area. (Thank goodness for The EARL's stage cam!) The next act was a Canadian DJ named Koushik. He did a groovy fun mix of old r'n'b mixed with some funk and hip-hop. His music was really interesting, and i found that i really enjoyed just listening to him and talking to the few people i knew at the show. I don't remember anything about his "performance", i guess it was the normal DJ thing of flipping records around, playing solitaire on the laptop, and twisting knobs. Whatever -- the sound was good at least. I really enjoyed his music, and even bought an EP for home listening. So, this artist was worthwhile.

And then, finally, awfully late on a Friday Night (dammit people -- i had to get up at 6:30 to go to work this morning!), Four Tet took the stage. He is a tall, swarthy fellow with a sort of afro hairdo. He smiled pleasantly and bounced around like mad behind his gear. He played two laptops, two turntables, and a mess of "stuff" (i honestly have no idea what all that other stuff these types of people use is -- things with knobs by the motions they make at these machines). He started with some very IDMish distorted music, all crunchy beats and cut up melodies. Tracers called it "laptop with distortion", and i think that's a pretty fair assessment of the IDM genre. Anyway, Four Tet played for about an hour, and even played a few tunes i recognize off of his previous albums. He did not play No More Mosquitos unfortunately, and that has sort of been my personal anthem this bug filled summer so i would liked to have heard it live. Still, what he did do was interesting and catchy. The neatest thing about Four Tet was that you can tell he is trained as a drummer, because after each song there was a second or two of silence, and you could watch him take a step back from his gear and clear that beat out of his mind so that he could start on another.

Anyway, despite there not being anything to really watch, i did enjoy a couple of hours worth of music this evening. Four Tet and Koushik both make really interesting sounds, and it was enjoyable to hear live. I just, well, i wish there were people with real instruments to watch. I like to see music being made, and i can't do that when the main instrument is a laptop. Overall though, the music was interesting.

Related Links:
  Rounds, by Four Tet

Return to the top of this page. | Return to the Concert Review menu.