Four Tet’s “Morning Side” from his Morning/Evening is a 20-minute track that presents a gentle techno beat as a backdrop for a sample of legendary Indian playback singer Lata Mangeshkar singing “Main Teri Chhoti Behana Hoon” from the 1983 film Souten. The music unfolds gradually with a slow-moving chord progression, chattering hi hats, floaty synthesizer lines, and subtle echo effects on Mangeshkar’s plaintive melodies.
Here is the original:
“I don’t want to sound like anybody else.” – Kieran Hebden
I have written previously on this blog about the music of Kieran Hebden (aka Four Tet). Hebden not only has good musical taste but also a thoughtful and unique approach to using technology to create his work. In this video from Red Bull Music Academy, Hebden explains to students his electronic gear set-up and how he uses it in performance.
What is interesting here is how Hebden uses a combination of software (Ableton and Cool Edit Pro) running on two computers and other bits of hardware such as loopers and MIDI controllers to re-create his compositions live. This musical system reflects specific performance goals and also illustrates Hebden’s admission that he doesn’t even know some of his software very well (“I don’t know much about Ableton at all and the sorts of things it can do…”). This is key, because it frees him to pursue a quite unique-sounding creative path.
Here is the video: