Often referred to as an auteur, Matthew Herbert is one of the more curious figures in electronic music. Having released music for the best part of two decades, he’s achieved notoriety for highly conceptual & singular productions that fit strictly to a personal manifesto forbidding himself to sample or replicate the work of others. For anyone unfamiliar with his methods, his two most recent LP’s were composed from sound clips of a bomb being dropped over Libya – ‘The End Of Silence’ and sound experiments with the carcass of a pig he observed for twenty weeks before controversially watching it being killed – ‘One Pig’.
The first release under the Herbert name in eight years comes as a welcome surprise. Matthew kicks things into touch with ‘One Two Three’, a jaunty slab of swinging House layered with lush vocals from songstress Rahel, of London based band Hejira. The singer’s voice pops superfluously over a bubbling melody that immediately draws to mind tracks like ‘Audience’ from his tour de force 2001 LP – ‘Bodily Fluids’. This track is catchy enough to penetrate the mainstream if that’s what Herbert actually wanted. A disturbing thought when you factor in the context of his austere productions of late.
He veers into darker terrain with ‘Manny’, where a spluttering rhythm-section collides with chopped vocals for an inharmonious blend that’s neither uncomfortable or pleasant. He goes darker still on the flip with ‘My DJ’, a sinister cut of Techno that jacks with twisted chipmunk vocals, it’s the sound of a nightmare but has sure potential for a strong reaction if played to the right crowd. To rounds things out he descends into a disturbed subsidiary of Acid House with ‘Grab That Bottle’. It’s like a deranged adventure with the cirque de freak. Totally emblazoned with the trademark intricacies of Herbert productions.
‘Part 6’ is an intriguing follow up to the playful music style that Herbert spearheaded in the original ‘Parts 1-5’ which were released on the now defunct Phono imprint in 95/96. It would seem that the journey won’t conclude here either. Always the entertainer, Herbert has plenty more tricks up his sleeve.
‘Part 6’ is available to buy on vinyl and digital now, for more information see here.