Kieran Hebden discusses the 10th anniversary edition of his breakthrough Rounds, his early career and the woes of being labeled "folktronica."
While known in some 90s-music circles for his work in the post-rock band Fridge, Kieran Hebden began to make more noise under his own project, Four Tet, at the start of the 21st century. His first two albums, Dialogue and Pause, received attention, as did a breakout remix of Aphex Twin for Warp’s 10+3 compilation. But it was when he released Rounds in May of 2003 that Four Tet’s profile soared, signifying the arrival of one of the more intriguing electronic music figures of the last decade. Just two years on from Radiohead’s IDM-embracing Kid A, a new generation of music makers were moving into indie sounds weaned on hip-hop breaks and the likes of Aphex and Boards of Canada. Four Tet’s Rounds showed how-- armed with only a laptop and a penchant for gentle melodic figures-- a stirring type of beat-driven music could be crafted.