With Winter Music Conference and the madness around Ultra in full swing next week in Miami, don't be alarmed if it seems like the entire county is pulsing to an unending four-four beat. Leave it to Bardot, a boutique venue with increasingly interesting programming, to book a show for that Friday night that both fits in with the overall electronic zeitgeist of the week and subverts it. The headliner on March 23 is Four Tet, the alias of Kieran Hebden, an underground, London-based cult figure who specializes in zagging when everyone else is zigging.
Under both his given name and his pseudonym, he creates abstract but pretty compositions that wander off in threads from hip-hop, dance music, and even jazz. Live, he often picks up on the latter's improvisational spirit, and a show can go from introspecive and chin-scratching to all-out danceable depending on Hebden's mood and the crowd's vibe.
Still, though, don't expect anything too easy to digest. Case in point: Four Tet's recent collaboration with the equally underground, and equally critically lauded Burial. The new track, dubbed "Nova," dropped nine days ago, and, as expected, digests slowly. Starting off with almost New Agey atmospherics, it unfurls with a gently rolling, broken beat that almost turns into house but never quite materializes into an easy groove. You can shake your butt to it, but you can't pump your fist, and that's exactly the point.
Stream the track below in anticipation of Four Tet's gig at Bardot. Support that night comes from Jackmaster, another Londoner who excels at updating house of certain vintage varieties (hip-, acid, jackin', and the like). Also on the bill is Dopestepa, a local act that flirts equally with dubstep and unapologetic drum'n'bass.
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Four Tet. With Jackmaster and Dopestepa, Friday, March 23 at Bardot, 3456 N. Miami Ave., Miami. Click here.