Four Tet - Low End Theory - 12/21/11
Low End Theory
Better Than... John Wall and David Guetta's heralded Spotify Playlists.
Let's face it: straight vinyl DJ sets can either be delight or disaster. With seasoned professional Four Tet taking the reigns at Low End Theory last night, however, there was no cause for concern. The veteran producer has been performing experimental DJ sets for years at the Plastic People club in London, introducing new talent from his TEXT label, testing out his own new tracks, and learning to successfully read the room on his own terms.
After the release of his highly regarded last album There Is Love In You, Four Tet performed all over the globe in 2010, including a sold-out show at the Music Box -- which is at least 10 times bigger than Low End Theory. So at 45 minute set there -- which is basically the American equivalent of Plastic People -- would seem like no sweat.
For a DJ with such stature and international acclaim, he seemed genuinely excited to do the set; he even wore a childish grin, as if to ride a rollercoaster for the first time. Having flown in from New York just for the performance, he almost seemed trying to prove something to the Ghostly-loving beatheads straggling out to Lincoln Heights.
After Daddy Kev's short set -- containing a new Flying Lotus track and a promethazine prelude courtesy of ASAP Rocky's "Trilla" -- Nocando laid down one of his sensational freestyles and introduced the headliner. To the surprise of many, he began pulling out vinyl and started off with a track from Guilty Simpson and some dusty funk classics. He then stepped things up with a stomping cut from house-revivalist Floating Points. The crowd responded immediately.
The highlight of the set came when Four Tet bounced over to one of his originals "Love Cry," letting the euphoric synth melodies breath freely while the bass shattered the walls.
The crowd was in a frenzy at the height of the track, which blended perfectly in to Daphni's tribal funk remix of Cos-Ber-Zam's "Ne Noya." Dutch producer Martyn's recent hit "Masks" kept the bass kicking and, after a minor glitch, the set closed out with a slow-burning dub track that even reluctant smoker Nocando claimed made him want to go get high.
If there was ever a perfect night to ease up and celebrate the Low End residents' five years of success it was last night. The line wrapped around the block, another veteran graced us with his presence, and everyone was full of holiday cheer.
Personal Bias: I've had "Love Cry" on repeat since 2010.
The Crowd: Really? The guy that looked like Layne Staley from Alice In Chains thought there was "too much bass?"
Random Notebook Dump: Press should be able to stand on couches just the same as rappers.
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