On Second Thought
Four Tet - Rounds

By: Nate De Young

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Posted 05/03/2005 - 11:06:39 AM by nlincol2:
 While it's very romantic to remember Dj Shadow riding in to '96 on a iron stallion made out of Technics parts and single handedly both destroying and recreating instrumental hiphop in his vision it's just not true. Coldcut, Pete Rock, Dj Premier and many others had been doing the same thing for years, and better. The fact is that he shot his creative load on his first album and The Private Press was mess that was more sculpted by writers saying what it should sound like than anything else. As soon as music writers start realizing this maybe they will stop riding his ego(among other things) and name dropping him in as many articles as possible, and maybe Dj Shadow will stop reading his name in every magazine he opens and get back to making good music. My friends and I have a joke that Shadow is dead and all of his output post Endtroducing was created a robot. After nearly ten years of hearing from his pack of followers I'm starting to think they might all be robots too.
Posted 05/03/2005 - 12:17:54 PM by MuyRapido:
 Uh, I can't understand what the hell you're talking about or what the point of this essay is. But I've listened to this album a lot and each song is really good. A+
Posted 05/03/2005 - 12:50:03 PM by nlincol2:
 Yes "Rounds" is good, but not as good as Dj Shadow.
Posted 05/03/2005 - 01:49:43 PM by garlad1:
 FWIW, most of Shadow's "followers" think that he's fallen off as well. The critics seem to be the only holdouts. I mean, has anyone heard that Keane remix he did? Bleh...
Posted 05/03/2005 - 02:00:23 PM by nlincol2:
 Yeah point was not that he has fallen off, but that he was never the pinnacle of anything to begin with.
Posted 05/03/2005 - 03:38:20 PM by gloden:
 Not to disagree with the overall argument presented here, but Rounds opener "Hands" is one of my favorite pieces of electronic recorded music. To me, the album hits a very immediate initial high and slowly fizzles out towards the end. But that high is just high enough to take you through the remaining 9 tracks.
Posted 05/03/2005 - 04:19:11 PM by unblinking:
 Pause and Happiness (as Fridge) are the best albums Hebden has done. I agree about "Hands" being an amazing track. Love that slow, hypnotic build. But things get a bit lackluster after this. It's nothing terrible, but certainly not exceptional like the opener.
Posted 05/03/2005 - 05:39:28 PM by natedey:
 nlincol2, i think you bring up a great point, and i don't mean to insinuate that dj shadow singlehandedly innovated/reconstructed instrumental hip-hop, but i'd go back much further than coldcut/pete rock/dj premier. double dee and steinski's three lessons (which can be found on this INCREDIBLE site - http://www.richcolour.com/mastermix/) would be a great place to start for true innovators. however, dj shadow provided the most visible first complete album and that shouldn't be forgotten nor understated. i wouldn't discredit the theory that all of shadow's work post-entroducing has been done by a robot, but if it is, it's a fucking slow robot.
Posted 05/04/2005 - 12:42:01 PM by RavingLunatic:
 I bought Fridge's EPH reissue and thought it wasn't any good, but, man, Rounds blew me away.
Posted 05/04/2005 - 08:12:33 PM by diddywah:
 What purpose does this column serve? To criticize an acclaimed album because we are now blessed with the benefit of hindsight, which shows us that it sounds too much like DJ Shadow for us to be able to enjoy it? Why are you so hung up on the need to enjoy music based on its context-(I feel the need to quote that line about arcitecture and dancing here)? I think Rounds is great; as someone said Hands is brilliant, the way the drums emerge from the discordant instrumentation is a wondrous moment. "She moves she", "spirit fingers", "unspoken", all further excellent tracks on a great album. Go tip your hat elsewhere sunshine.
Posted 05/05/2005 - 06:35:01 PM by phuett:
 Thank you diddywah, you basically summarized my thoughts on the entire On Second Thought series of articles. Also, I enjoy this album; if you don't like it, don't listen to it.
Posted 05/06/2005 - 10:40:23 AM by turdlipsjones:
 "The music's coming through me" - Building Steam With a Grain of Salt "...parking tickets/traffic offences" - Stem/Long Stem Get it right bubba.
Posted 05/11/2005 - 10:54:18 PM by unblinking:
 to make a correction - i intended to say DIALOGUE and Happiness were the best Hebden albums. not PAUSE. sorry bout that.