Four Tet (aka Kieran Hebden), once woke me up. I was lying in bed fast asleep when I was awoken by this strange, lilting sound. I nudged my then-girlfriend and asked her what the hell was going on. She told me it must be her brother playing music. As I lay there trying to go back to sleep I became enraptured by this new sound. So I dressed and went downstairs. I said to my then-girlfriend's brother "what the hell is this?" He said "it's called 'Hands', it's by a guy named Four Tet." To this day it's the best thing I have been woken up to (although there's still time for Christina Hendricks to pay me a visit in the early hours).

'Hands' has been doing the rounds (groan), for over a decade now and I just always thought of the start as rousing someone or something from far away. That it was my first exposure to Hebden and it roused me from sleep makes it essential for any playlist - to me, anyway. 'Misnomer' is perhaps less known than it should be but better for it (you can show off to your friends that you know it). It's infused with jazz and all too brief. I've worn the battery down on my phone several times from repeating it over and over. 

If a gun were inexplicably held to my head and someone screamed "WHAT'S YOUR FAVOURITE FOUR TET ALBUM?" I would tentatively suggest There is Love in You which would helpfully double up as a means to get them to put the weapon down. 'Plastic People' is a vital inclusion, as is 'Love Cry'. The beauty of the latter is how long you have to wait for the 'drop', whereas the former's immediacy is its appeal.

In 2012 Kieron released Pink, which boasts no fewer (and no more) than three entries to this essential playlist of mine. First up we have 'Pinnacles' which makes my foot tap just by thinking about it, then 'Pyramid' which is perfect late-night-early-morning-fodder. Basically, here's what you do: you put 'Pyramid' on at a party and everyone thanks you for replacing that guy in the corner who's obsessed with Alt-J. The third choice from this ludicrously-good album is opener 'Locked' which gets the party started in a gentle way before moving onto bigger (and badder) things.

'As Serious As Your Life' - especially when in your ears - makes you realise that perhaps life isn't all that serious. It's got groove and I never use the word 'groove' without feeling uncomfortable. Apart from now, although that might be because I am listening to Hebden's second Rounds' masterpiece. As Four Tet appears to have remixed every song in the history of the world ever, it would be a shame not to include any, so I proffer two which I consider better than the originals: the 'Smalltalk' by Ultraista remix and the Falty DL 'Straight and Arrow' remix. The originals of both songs are good, but they're not 'Four-Tet-remixed-them-and-now-they-will-change-your-life-good'.

To close I have to add three more to the list which are collaborative efforts, but might very well be better than any named on the list so far. 'Nova' has to get a look in and so does 'Moth', both remind me of a hot summer when my studies were ending and the rest of my life was beginning. I remember sitting in a bar and hearing 'Nova' come on and just having the best night because of it. Strange what songs can do. The final collaboration/essential song on the list is by The Holy Trinity: Burial, Four Tet and Thom Yorke with 'Ego'. I only just this minute found out that it was originally by Elton John and Bernie Taupin; you hear people say "it's not a patch on the original"; in this case it's not a patch on the cover version.

Late Entry: 'Parallel Jalebi'. Listen to it. That's all the justification you will need.

  • Tracklisting:
  • 1. 'Hands'

  • 2. 'Misnomer'
  • 3. 'Plastic People'
  • 4. 'Love Cry'
  • 5. 'Pinnacles'

  • 6. 'Pyramid'

  • 7. 'Locked'

  • 8. 'As Serious As Your Life'

  • 9. 'Small Talk' - Four Tet remix

  • 10. 'Straight and Arrow' - Four Tet remix

  • 11. 'Nova' - Burial and Four Tet

  • 12. 'Moth' - Burial and Four Tet

  • 13. 'Ego' - Burial, Four Tet and Thom Yorke

  • 14. 'Parallel Jalebi'