Four Tet's Everything Ecstatic
is the latest entry in the annals of kitchen-sink electronica, an ever-expanding genre that cuts and pastes together bits of '60s psych, jazz fusion, hip-hop, folk, and all points in between. Devoid of normal song structure or the usual sonic reference points, Ecstatic
recalls the cluttered mosaics of abstract expressionism. From the Sun Ra-influenced "Sun Drums and Soil" to the swirling electronic eddies of "Smile Around the Face," the disc does occasionally manage to interject a rather cerebral conceit with some much-needed blood and marrow. But it misses as often as it connects. Songs such as "Clouding" and "You Were There With Me" are tedious, formless exercises. And Four Tet's noisy sensibility, coupled with a general lack of continuity, renders the album too jagged for background music; it will ultimately lose the listener's attention. Ecstatic
might be interesting for those who are already fans of this type of music, but the rest will find it esoteric and unlistenable.