Friday 14 February 2020



Two things stand out quite a lot in this Four Tet track. First of all, the chopped Ellie Goulding vocals are a surprise — a welcome one. Giving 'Baby' its title, the samples litter the track with UK garage flavourings, what with the deft angular cuts, the intentional tinniness, the warmth of the words. The general minimalism of 'Baby' — with its ambient gossamer synths and its shuffling '00s beat — nudge yet more wintry garage aesthetic into your auditory cortex.

Secondly, the midsection. The beat falls away and we are left with gleaming synths, resonating slowly like the radiant heat of a sunny day on tarmac; the glass of a shop window glittering, swaying trees in a city park. What happens here is the emergence of that garage sound into a leafier part of town, the clearing of a green space in a forest of blocks and buildings; birdsong and glowing ambience, reminiscent of Japanese "environmental music" — ambient, but with added flora and fauna for full outdoorsy immersion.

Percussive and driving, warm and emotive, 'Baby' paves a way into inner city paradise, juggling beats, ambient and the sounds of nature for a city walk that leaves the rush, the traffic, for private reflections of the day in a public park.

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