I've been going down a rabbit hole of listening to everything Four Tet has produced. 'Locked' is one of his most popular.
Kieran Hebden works best when he's conjoining forces that at first appear to be in direct opposition to one another. His projects with jazz drummer Steve Reid, or his recent collaboration with Burial and Thom Yorke, have demonstrated how malleable he can be when working with artists who have distinctive approaches to music. The most impressive material Hebden records on his own as Four Tet sets up similar conflicts, where paradoxical sounds are set in motion and made to gel. Initially it feels like "Locked" isn't going to head down that path. For the first two minutes it's engaged only in a coarse industrial grind with little surface texture, just a cluttering beat lost in a lonely cycle. Eventually Hebden adds an unlikely foil by plugging in a gently tweaked synth line that provides the track with the light/dark fulcrum around which it turns. Hebden keeps on bridging that divide throughout, with swells of bass settling alongside lighter ambient noise in the mix. The way he makes that balancing act sound so uncomplicated gives "Locked" its magnetic pull, making it feel like you want to be down here with it for far longer than the eight-and-a-half-minute runtime will allow.
Kieran pulls from many genres and is never predictable. His eclectic playlist on Spotify has over 27k subscribers and showcases the strange and wonderful breadth of different music he listens to..