Kieren Hebdan is one of those rare artists whose music seems to be partitioned into its own category by record-shop owners, critics and fans alike. Hebdan began releasing material as Four Tet in 1998, while still playing guitar and other instruments in British post-rock band Fridge. When the rest of the band went on a higher-education hiatus, Hebden continued operating under the Four Tet moniker, infusing his pureed compositions with distinctive blends of folk, jazz and hip-hop, serving it up with a boost of glitch. To date, he has released four albums (including 2003’s hauntingly beautiful “Rounds”) and remixed artists as varied as Beth Orton, Jamie Lidell, Hot Chip, Bloc Party and Radiohead. Creating a prolific kaleidoscope of noise, he crafts dissonant rhythms and noises into an uncanny catalogue of work. As a live performer, his genius is uncompromising and even self-indulgent at times, occasionally befuddling his audiences. But Thursday he spins a DJ set in support of his upcoming mix for !K7’s esteemed DJ-Kicks series. As a DJ who splits his time between dates in Ibiza and London’s famed The End club, Four Tet still flashes his love for eclecticism, but adds a more kinetic edge, with an unexpected emphasis on minimal dancefloor beats—perhaps best showcased by his sleek remix of the new single “Pockets.” (The original mix appears on the DJ-Kicks mix.) Tonight’s DJ set is Four Tet’s only scheduled stateside appearance in the foreseeable future, making Sonotheque a can’t-miss for lovers of adventurous dance floors. Super Meego System (featuring members of local faves Walter Meego) will lend selecting support. (Duke Shin)
Four Tet spins at Sonotheque, 1444 West Chicago, (312)226-7600 on July 20 at 9pm.