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Four Tet, 'Three Drums'

Just a few days after a headlining slot at Coachella alongside fellow superstar DJs Skrillex and Fred again.., Kieran Hebden released a new Four Tet single called "Three Drums." Over the past few months, the seasoned producer has branched out into wildly accessible terrain on tracks like hyperpop-leaning "Looking At Your Pager" and club-friendly "Baby again..." (the latter of which was released in tandem with those two aforementioned collaborators). But "Three Drums" reinforces that Hebden is still in touch with his wonderfully oblique side.

Across the track's eight-minute runtime, organic drums lope beneath sumptuous pads and opaque synth leads. The sophisticated downtempo cut starts off at its rhythmic peak, gradually disintegrating into a sustained, blissful ambient outro. Now in his late 40s, it's becoming increasingly challenging to tell whether Hebden wants to be viewed as a raucous party starter or a legacy artist relishing the quietude of stability. A gorgeous standout in an ever-unpredictable handful of recent releases, "Three Drums" suggests that this restless energy may also be current-day Hebden's greatest creative asset.

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Ted Davis
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