- With successes dating back to the mid '90s, John Beltran has more than proven his techno credentials. At this point the Michigan veteran would be forgiven for indulging a retrospective urge (something 2011's Ambient Selections compilation hinted at). But he did the opposite with last year's Amazing Things, seemingly intent on finding his place in the contemporary musical landscape. Unfortunately the spots he alighted on—dated millennial chill-out; saccharine post-rock; post-Burial garage—weren't altogether convincing.
Never fear: with "Faux" Beltran has finally cracked it. It's easy to see why Four Tet fell for the track—its oblique synth-harp melody and loose, live-sounding percussion share genes with Kieran Hebden's own music. But there's something unmistakably Beltran about its forlorn tone and light touch, its elements perpetually ducking and diving around one another with hypnotic grace. There's a simple, heartfelt melody in there somewhere, but it's fractured into a cubist rendering of itself, angled weirdly so that you can't quite make sense of its form. Trying to untangle the knot is a lot of fun, though after the full seven and a half minutes you might be exhausted from the effort. Four Tet's remix is a simple streamlining job: he leaves the melodic content zig-zagging through space but replaces the drums with a neater garage groove. The track's DJ utility is enhanced, but its winsome strangeness is slightly diminished.
B1 Faux (Four Tet Remix)