Keiren Hebden And Steve Reid - The Exchange Session: Vol 1

Both men feel the joining of electronics and acoustic jazz has not really been handled very skilfully in the past. <br/>WEB VERSION ONLY PLEASE ALEX - SHORT PRINT ONE IS ELSEWERE

Album Review by Natalie Doyle | 17 Mar 2006
Album title: The Exchange Session: Vol 1
Artist: Keiren Hebden and Steve Reid
Spawned from the urge to do something apart from his post-rock band Fridge, Keiren Hebden's Four Tet project balances organic and programmed sounds. Hebden formed Fridge with Sam Jeffers and Adem Ilhan while still in high school. However, when Fridge went on temporary lull for Jeffers and Ilhan to attend college, Hebden spent time playing with ideas, gained from hip-hop and electronica. Eager to experiment, Hebden bought a computer and began collecting drum and sound samples. Though his tracks sounded contrary, Hebden produced them all in his flat using only his computer to loop, slice, and paste downloaded samples and rhythms. Steve Reid on the other hand is the legendary drummer who in 1964 - at 19 years of age - played on the Martha Reeves & the Vandellas' 'Dancing in the Street', and subsequently went on to play with Miles Davis, Fela Kuti and James Brown, not to mention Fats Domino, Sun Ra, Peggy Lee, Chaka Khan, Dexter Gordon, Dionne Warwick and many, many more.

The two met in autumn 2004 at the London Jazz festival, where Steve expressed great enthusiasm for Kieran's Four Tet work. In April 2005, Steve went into The Exchange in Camden, London (where Keiren cuts his records) to do off-the-cuff with the young man. Wholly improvised, unedited and without overdubs, 'The Exchange Session Vol 1' is the real-time first result of this prolific union. Both men feel the joining of electronics and acoustic jazz has not really been handled very skilfully in the past. Steve has issue with the whole idea of programmed beats in jazz (and in the past has campaigned against drum machines), while Kieran's still looking for that romantic blend of Alice Coltrane and Silver Apples. So what does it actually sound like? Well, as one might expect, with Steve on the drums and percussion side of things and Kieran taking control of the electronics, we are presented here with an interesting blend of sound that is both rhythmic and sporadic in nature. Definitely not the easiest of records to kick back to and enjoy but an intriguing listen nonetheless. The second half/Vol of this session is due to be released later in 2006. [Natalie Doyle]
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