Five Minutes at MUTEK with Four Tet

Publish date:
Updated on

Amidst the hustle and bustle of this year's MUTEK festival in Montreal, we snagged a few of our favorite artists for a quick chat about their impressions of the festival, the city, and, of course, some chatter about their music. Here, Four Tet dishes about the best time for snacking on poutine, what's happening with his Text label, and how he and Caribou wound up gravitating toward the dancefloor.

XLR8R: Is this your first time playing at MUTEK?
Four Tet: Well, I've headlined MUTEK in Mexico. I've done that a couple of times.

You've been to Montreal several times over the course of your career. What are some of your favorite things about the city?
I used to have a really good friend that lived here. She lives in London now, so I see her all the time. When she was in Montreal, I'd always hang with her and we'd go and have good breakfast and eggs benedict and sushi and it was fun.

How does poutine go down with your English palette?
I'm into it. It tastes better after midnight, I find.

It's been over a year since your last album, There Is Love in You. Is there a new album that you're working on?
I'm doing a mix CD for Fabric. It comes out in September.

The single that you put out on your own Text imprint with Burial and Thom Yorke put a spotlight back on that label. Are you planning for that to be a more active outlet?
No, it's just for me when I've got little things that I want to put out in an uncomplicated way. It's useful to be there. But I guess it had two releases this year, two 12"s, so it's on fire right now. [laughs] There's going to be another 12" this year, because I've made some new tracks for this Fabric mix and I'm going to do a 12" with a couple of them on it. So, the three-release year is the biggest year that it's ever been for the label.

It seems like you and Caribou both gravitated toward dancefloor-oriented sounds around the same time. You guys have interacted for years, so was that a coincidental thing or is it something you thought about?
We didn't talk about it or anything. Dan lives down the street from me and we hang out all the time. We were going to see Theo Parrish all the time at Plastic People and hanging out there and both working on albums. And we were meeting up all the time to play each other the music we were working on. Both of us were making stuff that was clearly way more influenced by the sort of things we were hearing in clubs than music we had made before. At the time, we were just doing our own thing. Last year, when both albums came out... you know, Dan's on tour right now, he's playing these massive festivals, [but] I think at the time we were making those records, we weren't really thinking about it at all. We were just making them in our bedrooms; we weren't thinking about what anybody would think about them. I don't think either of us even noticed that they were like dance music particularly. We were just doing this thing, kind of quietly, hidden away. When you're making an album, especially over the period of a year, I think the best stuff I've ever done, you don't even think about what kind of music it is. You're just like in it, doing it.

For more about Four Tet at MUTEK, check out Part 2 of our festival wrap-up.