Kieran Hebden has always been one to skirt around the fringes of genres, nipping in every now and then to grab a little taste before merrily skipping back to the outsides to blend all these bits together into his own little concoctions. Like a kid who hates the constraints of what he's allowed to do in science lessons, he nabs stuff from the different school labs and, with the freedom his treehouse lab in the playground provides, usually produces something exciting and engaging.

Yet, while he's still shaking off the standards and practises of the music industry, particularly with his aversion to Spotify and the gimmicks of releasing music which led him to spring his seventh album as Four Tet, Beautiful Rewind, upon us without any warning other than that it was "coming soon", he's jumping back into these pockets of normality. This is by no means a bad thing and merely means his influences are much clearer to recognise for the first time since Pause. Beautiful Rewind feels like a comprehensive love letter to dance music, blending techno, grime, garage, jungle, and a splash of the usual Four Tet electronic styles together.

This is most obvious in album opener, 'Gong', and the first track released, 'Kool FM', whose title speaks for itself as homage to pirate radio stations such as Flex FM. Both are pushed forwards by frantic jungle beats, with synth basslines pulsing in the background, while samples from pirate radio broadcasts are scattered around, sitting nicely atop like sprinkles on a well iced cake. 'Buchla' is a convergence of all the influences in one neatly wrapped package. With its mix of techno and the aforementioned pirate radio vibes, it feels like a track that sums up the final hours of a party, as the sun begins to stream the window; that ethereal state where no-one really wants to stop just yet. This nicely progresses into 'Aerial' which, if 'Buchla' is the party still going, is the stepping out into the morning light, in that hazy state where everything looks as though it is in a soft focus, but with the muffled radio samples still somewhere in the back of your head.

'Parallel Jalebi' acts as a sort of breather after 'Gong' hits your right in the face, taking a softer approach with its almost slow jam R&B beats coupled with breathy synths and sighing female vocals. It's one of the album's more beautiful and serene moments. 'Ba Teaches Yoga' is a space-age jazz journey with a light brass section and twinkling synths like stars in the night sky or the bleeps and bloops of a spaceship computer. 'Unicorn' is a real stand-out moment on the album; a truly breath taking piece of work. The synth sounds like shining beads of water slowly dropping into a crystal clear pool of water and slowly rippling out from there, elemental almost. It's light and airy, which almost makes it sound as though it's a soufflé, but it's an absolute joy to listen to; to just lie back with headphones on and completely zone out, particularly after the rest of the album has been so heavy with its jungle and garage tones.

Beautiful Rewind is definitely its own beast and the result of much experimentation. Yet it is experimentation so directly rooted in a specific area of music unlike, say, Rounds. It's often a difficult album to get into; despite it being rooted in dance music, it's probably the least danceable Four Tet record and probably not your first choice if a friend ever asks you to recommend a Four Tet album to get them started. There are no real hooks to drag you in and make you want to move as there is in previous albums but it's still interesting to listen to Hebden work. It's a rewarding listen when you put the effort in as it really is a love letter to what made Hebden jump from the post-rock world of Fridge to the mad scientist world of Four Tet.