Thursday, April 26, 2007

Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid


Kieran Hebden and Steve Reid share a silent telepathy that draws strength from intense exploration of each other’s natural rhythmic tendencies. Tongues follows their marathon two volume Exchange Sessions of free-form rhythm and noise in which Hebden (Four Tet) and Reid (James Brown, Miles Davis) undergo a cultural, generational and stylistic collision.

This live session brings their discourse to a point sans any edits or overdubs. There are plenty of rough edges, however in songs like “Left Handed, Left Minded,” where Reid’s organic sensibilities tangle with Hebden’s electronic textures. Mono-rhythmic drums in “Greensleeves” and “The Squid” are rife with human imperfections.

Likewise, Hebden’s noises are cold and psychedelic in their mechanical motions. Both are steadfast in a complimentary push-and-pull reminiscent of the classic John Coltrane / Elvin Jones dynamic circa My Favorite Things, but carried to the fascinating fringes of abstract communication.

--Chad Radford