An end of year surprise from Kieran Hebden, ‘Parallel’ features ten tracks of glistening electronics, some of which have been drip released under various aliases and others that are all new. While tempos vary from sedate to dance floor ready, the overall vibe is perhaps best considered as ambient adjacent.
Opening with ‘Parallel 1’, a 27 minute excursion that begins with indistinguishable, ‘found sound’ vocals before beginning a looping, carefully developing resonant synth pattern. Warm and analogue, oscillating drones come in as the synths rise and clip before falling away, returning and then folding back to single note tones at barely past the halfway point. Moving through naive, Radiophonic Workshop-esque chimes, the track culminates in enveloping drones and distant Soulful vocals. It’s an odyssey that sets the tone for the entire album. Elsewhere the propulsive beats and bell-like chimes we’ve come to know from Four Tet do appear, but the opener remains the standout on this surprising addition to an already extensive repertoire.