When Caribou Met Four Tet

We’re taking a look back at when Dan Snaith visited us on the Academy couch in 2004. In this edited and condensed excerpt from his lecture, we hear how he first met Four Tet – and how they initially bonded over a shared love of sampling obscure jazz records

Caribou Lecture RBMA Rome 2004

A real turning point for me was [when] I went over to the UK to work for the summer, just to work over there and move around a little bit. I went to a festival, it was quite a small festival and I met up with this guy Kieran Hebden, who releases music under the name Four Tet. People may know his music from his later records but his first album was made up of samples from weird European and American free jazz records.

Listening to that and the first DJ Shadow album were two really big influences, because here were people who were sampling… They weren’t sampling James Brown. They were sampling Czechoslovakian prog rock records or weird eastern European or American free jazz records and making music that just sounded like nothing else; didn’t sound like the things they were sampling, but also didn’t sound like anything else and that just really appealed to me. [It was] a totally unique approach.

They weren’t sampling James Brown. They were sampling Czechoslovakian prog rock records.

I just walked up to him after he played at the festival and we kept in touch because I hung out with him. I was just some guy, I was surprised he wasn’t like, “Get out!” And then I sent him music, and he passed it on to Leaf (Records), which is the small label which put out my music and that was it, it was really as simple as that. It was straight from my bedroom, sent one CD to him and he said, “I think I know somebody who would want to put this out.”

I didn’t know people were listening to that same kind of stuff [I was]. There were a few friends in Toronto – and him – and it just felt that we were moving in the same sort of direction. There’s been a lot of dance music that’s been influenced by jazz, been influenced by Kraftwerk or by krautrock, Can. There’s obviously a long legacy that’s influenced a lot of dance music, but I kind of felt that a lot of them were influenced by light-sounding jazz and not the weirder stuff. I really felt that he was making weirder kind of stuff, too.

By Red Bull Music Academy on June 3, 2014

On a different note