why we love this
“A genre-shrugging masterpiece of delicate musicianship and warm feeling.”
about the record
Fridge is a UK band, comprised by school friends Kieran Hebden, Adem Ilhan, and Sam Jeffers. Initially Hebden played guitar, Ilhan bass, and Jeffers drums, but Hebden and Ilhan soon adopted a variety of other instruments, and by 1999’s Eph the sampler was playing an increasingly important role in the group’s music. Hebden, Ilhan and Jeffers all attended Elliott School in Putney, which has become regarded as a hotbed for musical talent; other notable alumni including Hot Chip, Burial and The xx – all of which members of Fridge have worked with.
Fridge is no stranger to critical and fanatical praise. Ever since their inception and debut release in 1997, the powerful young trio has grown up and expanded as an eager audience and a fickle British press waited for them to stumble over their success and prove to be just another flash in the pan. With the release of their fourth and most highly anticipated album, Happiness, the band exhales and raises the bar yet again. Fusing the cluttered electronic textures that dominated their last masterpiece, Eph, with the ambitious energy of their earlier albums, Fridge has created one of the most breathtaking instrumental rock albums of this century.
“It used to be called post-rock, the crossroads where guitar bands messed about with wires, and tunes gave way to fax machine tones. And – with their maths degree courses and stashes of jazz records – young Londoners Fridge were there as just the full moon came up. They named their albums things like Ceefax, and forged an oblique instrumental sound that looked to dance music for technology and polyrhythms for brownie points, but remained rooted in the grubby practice room. It was clever. Fortunately, it was also good. Fast-forward four years, and even as the idea of post-rock became a cliche, Radiohead embraced modern digitals and Alice Coltrane. The electronica mill is now looking to folk pastorals for grist and one of Fridge – Kieran Hebden, aka Four Tet – is a leading light of the new organic underground. So much so, in fact, that few would have been surprised if Fridge had been quietly wound up, with Adem Ilhan going off to score plays and drummer Sam Jeffers putting his feet up and watching the cricket. Instead, Fridge has made easily their finest record yet, a genre-shrugging masterpiece of delicate musicianship and warm feeling.” – NME