Four Tet creates moving, emotional ambient dance music for paintings on "Anna Paintings." His music has always sought the equilibrium between the physical and the cerebral. Kieran Hebden's music is as much for the art gallery as the dancefloor, with the sweat-soaked propulsion of light, trance beats being filigreed with moments of genuine heart, emotion, spirit. At times, his music itself seems a work of art, ready to be set in a gilded frame if it could ever be captured on canvas.



"Anna Painting" brings this one step closer to reality, in the collaboration between Kieran Hebden and painter Anna Liber Lewis. On this short surprise EP, Hebden creates three tracks based around Lewis' soft, sublime watercolors. "Anna Painting" and "Lathana Noon" inspired new, original work from Lewis, while "Breath" was created in response to an existing piece.

Like Lewis' paintings, "Anna Painting" seems almost simplistic at first glance. Anna Liber Lewis' paintings have an almost childlike quality to them, given their abstract nature and soft color pallet. As Pablo Picasso noted about childlike art, "It's taken me a lifetime to learn to paint like that."

Sonically, Four Tet employs the lexicon of dance music, mostly House Music, with "Anna Painting," to recreate Lewis' abstract shapes and pastel hues. Steady 4/4 beats and syncopated rhythms crawl into focus and drop out of sight, as ethereal choirs and glassy synth pads materialize like the Northern Lights in the margins.

Four Tet's music and Anna Liber Lewis' paintings remind us that art doesn't have to be complicated to be important. Or masterful. Both play with the primary colors of human emotions and the subtle shades of human experience, which are then mixed and warped into new and novel configurations. It's a euphoric sculpture, to be sure, perfect for dancing at sunset when the sky's an impressionist blur and our heads are in the clouds.


J. Simpson occupies the intersection between criticism, creativity, and academia. Based out of Portland, Or., he is the author of Forestpunk, an online journal/brand studying the traces of horror, supernatural, and the occult through music, fashion and culture. He plays in the dreamfolk band Meta-Pinnacle with his partner Lily H. Valentine, with whom he also co-founded Bitstar Productions, a visual arts collective focused on elevating Pop Culture to High Art.