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Herbert

Although his methods may provoke more discussion than his music (at least among chin-stroke types and the British and American dance music presses), Matthew Herbert is an experimentalist of a subtle stripe, combining his love for all styles of dance-based electronic music with a desire to push their modes of expression into new areas. Herbert studied music formally, yet much of his creative impetus has been provided by the compositional potential of digital sampling technology, which he liberally applies to genres such as house, electro, ambient, and techno, fashioning tracks of detail and originality from such mundane objects of everyday life as kitchen flatware, crockery, even his own body.

Although the first of his tracks to be released on 12" came out through the Universal Language label associated with Global Communication, the Horn, and Herbert's own Wishmountain project, he's since released a flood of material on the Clear and Phono labels, as Doctor Rockit and Herbert, respectively. With Doctor Rockit, Herbert focuses on old- and new-school electro-funk and housed-up techno, fusing clangy, rattling beats with humorous melodies and left-field samples and vocal snippets. With his eponymous project, Herbert releases the unlikeliest of experimental house tracks, working within the genre's feel-good, four-on-the-floor arrangements while drastically tweaking its modus operandi. His signature approach gave post-rave house's stale comportment a badly needed shot in the arm, and (somewhat inexplicably) was widely embraced among mainstream and underground house audiences alike.

While continuing to record for both Clear and Phono (almost a full dozen of his tracks appeared on Phono's two-disc compilation The End of the Beginning), Herbert also applied his remixing skills to a number of notable artists, including friend Jonah Sharp of Spacetime Continuum, Harold Budd, Atom Heart, Moloko, Motorbass, Super Furry Animals, DJ Food, Hardfloor, and Presence, among others. (More than 20 of them were compiled on Secondhand Sounds: Herbert Remixes.) Vocalist Dani Siciliano joined Herbert for the 1998 LP Around the House (chock-full of domestic sample sources), and continued the association with 2001's Bodily Functions (no explanation necessary), 2003's Goodbye Swingtime (credited to the Matthew Herbert Big Band), 2005's Plat du Jour (credited to Matthew Herbert), and 2006's Scale. Herbert also released a mix album, 2000's Letsallmakemistakes, while producing albums such as Siciliano's Likes... and Roisin Murphy's Ruby Blue. He returned to the world of jazz in 2008, reconvening his big band for the creation of There's Me and There's You. There was a flurry of activity in 2010: a trilogy of Matthew Herbert releases (One One, One Club, and One Pig), as well as a contribution to Deutsche Grammophon's Recomposed series (his alternate look at Mahler's tenth, unfinished symphony).

In 2012, Herbert was appointed creative director of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, but he remained active as a recording artist. The End of Silence, released in 2013, used a five-second recording of the Libyan Civil War's 2011 Battle of Ra's Lanuf, sent to him by photographer Sebastian Meyer, as its lone source of sound. The following year, he returned to his last-name-only alias and released Part Six, Part Seven, and Part Eight in resumption of a 12" series that halted during the mid-'90s. A Herbert album, The Shakes, arrived in 2015. ~ Sean Cooper
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Scale

1. Something Isn't Right

2. The Movers And The Shakers

3. Moving Like A Train

4. Harmonise

5. We're In Love

6. Birds Of Feather

7. Those Feelings

8. Down

9. Movie Star

10. Just Once

11. Wrong

x

Track List: Goodbye Swingtime

1. Turning Pages

2. Everything's Changed

3. Fiction

4. The Three W's

5. Chromoshop

6. The Battle

7. Misprints

8. The Many And The Few

9. Simple Mind

10. Stationary

x

Track List: Bodily Functions

1. You're Unknown To Me

2. It's Only

3. Foreign Bodies

4. Suddenly

5. I Know

6. Leave Me Now

7. The Last Beat

8. You Saw It All

9. On Reflection

10. About This Time Each Day

11. Addiction

12. I Miss You

13. It's Only A Reprise

14. The Audience

x

Track List: Bodily Functions - Special Edition

x

Track List: 100 lbs

Disc 1

1. Rude

2. Desire

3. Thinking Of You

4. Oo Licky

5. Friday They Dance

6. Pen

8. Take Me Back

9. Deeper

10. Resident

Disc 2

1. Back To The Start

2. Back Back Back Back

4. The Puzzle

5. No More Borders

6. Fishcoteque

7. Housewife

8. I Hadn't Known (I Only Heard)

9. Our Love (Has Got Me Movin')

10. I'll Do It

12. Come On And Find Me

x

Track List: 100lbs (2013 Special Edition)

1. Rude

2. Desire

3. Thinking Of You

4. Oo Licky

5. Friday They Dance

6. Pen

7. 100Lbs

8. Take Me Back

9. Deeper

10. Resident

12. People That Make The Music

13. Back Back Back Back

15. The Puzzle

16. No More Borders

17. Fishcoteque

18. Our Love (Has Got Me Movin)

19. Trafalger Road

20. Shuffler

21. Uk Spring

22. Butt-Head

23. Come On And Find Me

24. Non-Stop

26. Go With The Beat

x

Track List: Around The House

1. Around The House

2. Close To Me

3. Going Round

6. So Now...

7. The Last Beat

8. This Time

10. We Go Wrong

11. We Still Have (The Music)

x

Track List: The Movers And The Shakers / Harmonise

Comments

Report as inappropriate
Outragious but great, yeah, thats art for ya, and Rock.
Report as inappropriate
Very eerie. Eerie is good.
Report as inappropriate
earlwiggs10
BEEN FOLLOWING YOUR MUSIC MATT SINCE 1996.....SOM E OF YOUR OTHER MIXED WORKS....... P E A C E DUDE!!!
Report as inappropriate
nightcrawlin g e n i g m a
dude looks like an alien...
& as we learned from david bowie, aliens make good musicians.
Report as inappropriate
kaos1013
Scale is one of the best albums I own...
Report as inappropriate
so cool to hear matthew here. he's sort of a friend of mine...

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