Manuel Gottsching’s 1984 album E2-E4 has got a lot to answer for. First, LCD Soundsystem tipped their hat toward Gottsching’s sprawling epic with their track "45:33." Now Kieran Hebden assumes his Four Tet moniker to release the Gottsching-esque Ringer.
The title track replicates E2-E4’s gently repetitive krautrock patterns, with Hebden steering the song into a balmy lock-groove that blisters and sways with bursts of electronic noise. Hebden also sketches a motorik outline around “Swimmer,” which is otherwise swamped in a somnambulant organ drone.
Hebden seems to be using the Ringer material to delicately maneuver the Four Tet sound away from the folktronica tag that was foisted on previous releases such as Rounds and Pause. A wise choice, as the genre seems to have run out of steam.