It’s fair to say that Kieran Hebden’s last visit to the Shipping Forecast basement back in February was an undisputed triumph, the highlight of the Abandon Silence spring calendar. Understandably then, anticipation for his return tonight is high. No other acts before him, no playlists to get the crowd moving, nothing. Just five hours of solid DJ’ing from Four Tet, and boy he doesn’t disappoint.
From start to finish, the atmosphere in the mighty Hold is intense, pulsing through you with an unrivalled energy. It’s intimidating at first, but once you ease into it it’s a wonder to behold. The only person who doesn’t seem to notice this is the man himself, who remain locked into his laptop the entire night. The lack of visuals and minimalist lighting is refreshing, as there’s nothing to distract you from absorbing yourself in the music. The only chance you get to reflect on the scene before you is if you retreat upstairs.
During the set, some punters drift in and out, while others are determined to see out the entire set. Herein lies the beauty of Four Tet’s performance: it never loses its vitality, but it’s easy to drop in and out without losing the flow of the night. Considering the five hours are relentless, you can hardly blame those who need a breath of fresh air every now and then. It’s even more exciting if you do take these breaks, because you never know what to expect as you head back in; the spectrum that Hebden draws from seems to know no limits.
In a city that is saturated with music nights, Abandon Silence have raised the standards once again. Four Tet delivers an innovative, awe-inspiring set that leaves the crowd in a state of electronic euphoria. Despite leaving the Hold drained of energy, five hours is still not enough.
Jack Graysmark / @ZeppelinG1993