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Da Panamanian Banana Racket Ep

93I

Robsoul Recordings / RB142

Alexander J. Adams aka 93i First release on Robsoul - Super Dope! http://www.facebook.com/93i00

http://www.robsoulrecordings.com

Straight Away

DIGITAL AGREEMENT / CITIZEN KAIN

Neverending Records / NEVERENDING049

Chez Guru

HAMZA / AUDIO UNITS / SPIRIT CATCHER / SATYA HINDUJA

Wind Horse Records / WHR022

With their backgrounds in mind, the meeting between Audio Units and Hamza is that of two Indian house heavy weights, if not royalty, and the results reflect this. Chez Guru gets its title from Ashriths nickname Guru and the french word for in the home of, basically a stamp for the place of the studio meeting. The vocals are also in French, which somehow always seems to lend an understated cool to any track, but when accompanied by slick productions such as these collaborators it becomes undeniably clear. The bass sounds are the foundation for Chez Guru, with two different levels responding to, and sometimes talking over, each other. The pads and key stabs are swirling, funky, and deep as ever except for wild, climatic moments perfectly paced throughout. Hand percussion finishes things off with a NY house style groove.

Abaton

ALEX NIGGEMANN / QUANTUM ENTANGLEMENT / CHYMERA / LEE JONES

Aeon / AEON009

AEON009 is expertly crafted by AEON labelboss and veritable wunderkind of the multi-faceted anologue electronic, German DJ and producer Alex Niggemann. As a firm believer that a collection of music should unravel and develop like the plot of a good book, this EP is an apt offering from the German maestro, who has recently seen (and is still seeing) underground chart success with his release 'Materium' on Poker Flat, as the likes of Sven Vath, Tale of Us and Mano le Tough continue to drop it to revering masses across the globe. Following successful releases on Poker Flat, Compost Black Label and Last Night On Earth to name a few, 'Abaton' carries on his chameleonic success. The title track highlights Niggemann's affinity with texture and genre- defying sound, as he mixes ethereal chords with stark ashen synths for a truly goose bump- inducing musical experience. First on remix duty is the outfit Quantum Entanglement, comprised of Lee Jones and Fink, who provide a somewhat mellow interpretation, leading into a satisfying deeper progression. Irish producer Chymera evokes an eery landscape with his rework of the track, with the tentative sound of synths juxtaposed with murkier sonic trails and a tiptoeing bassline. Niggemann rounds off the EP with 'Tripping Minds' - a maze of rhythmic curlicues that dance around melancholic pads and descend over a bassline that truly packs a punch, causing the listener to yearn for a dancefloor, or reminisce on a past moment of musical clarity that can only come from the most prolific of music. The fifth track is a Beatport exclusive in the form of a Lee Jones remix. This collection of intelligent, almost lugubrious sonic expression is a fitting display of how far Alex Niggemann, and indeed his AEON label have come; catapulting you into a darker, more aggressive and impressive world of musical capability.

10 YRS SYSTEMATIC

ARTIST DIVERS

Systematic Recordings / SYST00202

Web TV

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6 rating

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7 rating

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5 rating

Artistes/DJ

CICUENDEZ

Yoruba Grooves / Tip Tap Records // Castilla - La Mancha (ES)

Young DJ and producer born and living in a small town in the province of Toledo (Castilla -La Mancha, Spain). Attracted by electronic music from a young age, Alberto starts to perform their particular musical journey at 14 years old
Music becomes Alberto´s priority, so that it is able to acquire knowledge and technique very quickly. At 20 years old begins to develop a capability that will introduce into the scene: the production. True to his style, a style distinguished staff, Alberto started his career as a producer strengthening increasingly his essence that has not been ignored (or will ignore) by anyone who likes electronic music.

Gradually, the productions of Alberto Cicuéndez begin to have recognition in the electronic scene. So much so that artists such as Shlomi Aber, Rhadoo, Francesca Lombardo, Butch, Martin Eyerer, Los Suruba, Leon, Kaiserdisco, Nick Curly, Butane or Richie Hawtin 

Thanks to music, Alberto has a musical career which, according to their professional achievements, has just taken off. Through their commitment, talent and love for music, it tends to achieve great goals

0 rating

DEERK HOLLAENDER

Coolsville // GER

In touch with music for more than 10 year`s … 2013 was time to fund coolsville my own little label … for the freedom to do what i want ….nice rollin Tech House

1 rating

JAMES BARNSLEY

Catwash Records / Get Physical / Safari Electronique // Leeds (UK)

James Barnsley's focus for the last 5 years has been his music production. Being a lover of house music from his early teens James's musical talent and hard work in the studio has already paid off, seeing him signed to some of the worlds leading heavy weight labels such as Get Physical, Murmur, Safari Electronique, Catwash, and Overall Music as well as receiving remix requests from the likes of Pura Music.

His Production like his Dj’ing has received a great amount and support from world premier dj’s such as Richie Hawtin, Steve Bug, D’julz, Josh Wink and Chris Carrier amongst others. With his catchy and tight production shown in tracks such as 'Acid Tambourine' and 'Oh SHit' and his forth coming 'Spellbinder EP' on Innercircle, James keeps things real and underground and his music always works the dance floor!

As a young DJ James got his residency at the world renowned Back to Basics. He is also the owner of the infamous 'Stinky's Peephouse' which is one of Leeds best clubs where James spins regularly alongside some of the best DJ’s in the world and some of his main influences, such as Kerri Chandler, D'julz  to name a few. The club was also home for 6 years to the Back to Basics . As well as Basics James has also played guest slots at some of the UK's leading club nights gigs like Mulletover, Just Jack and Below as well as many gigs across europe.

Watch this space as there is a lot more to come from this talented lover of all things house over the next year.

5 rating

MONAQUE

GET PHYSICAL - Berlin (DE)

The New York and Moscow based DJ/Production partnership Monaque, made up of Alex
Monakhov and Serge Que are quickly establishing themselves as a force to be reckoned with and
one of the hotly tipped names to watch.
 
Monaque are a production focused DJ and live act that showcase their musical diversity which has
seen their output cross genres from deep house to tech house and techno. Successfully crossing
these musical boundaries with a consistent level of quality music has had a profound impact on
their fan base with support coming thick and fast from everyone from the likes of Nic Fanculli. and
Christian Smith through to Laurent Garnier and Luciano.  
 
2011 is set to be another busy year for Alex and Serge. Along with their residency at the Russian
underground venue Rise, Monaque will begin a their highly anticipated CD tour for the über cool
german label Get Physical along side label mates such as M.A.N.D.Y., Siopis, Audiofly, and Catz n
Dogz. The guys will be looking to showcase the product of their previous year in the studio which
includes remixes for M.A.N.D.Y & Bookashade , Robert Babicz , Siopis as well as more techno
based releases coming on Cologne based imprint Traum Schallplatten.
 
With 2010 seeing them tour across the globe playing in cities like Mexico City ,Tel Aviv, Buenos
Aires , Miami & NYC... its most likely they will be playing in a city close to you soon.

9 rating

CHARLES FENCKLER

Soma // Le Mans (FR)

1 rating

ILLAN NICCIANI

Yoruba Groove / Baile Musik // Paris (FR)

Illan Nicciani from the new generation of French producers. A passionate of music since a young age.

2012 was a turning point, he moves to Paris where he inserted the underground club scene. His sound evolved to a dark and serious Deep-Techno. Clubbing TV took notice of him and realised a piece about him.

He shares the stage with Monika Kruse & Oliver Huntemann at Amnezik Festival, plays with the Berliner scene at Stay Free Open Air.Playing in famous french clubs (Rex Club / Badaboum / Nuba / One Again Club, Antirouille..), Ibiza (Sankeys, Blue Marlin), Illan took the decision to make a South America Tour Dates during all the month of May from Argentina to Chile…!

In addition, one of his releases signed on Deep Tech Records “Crackle” reached #11 on Beatport Minimal. Breaking News on 29th July, ENTER (Richie Hawtin) chose the Illan’s track « Grab Down » for the aftermovie.

He signed (Vinyls & Digital) on important labels like Yoruba Grooves (UK), Baile Musik, Time Has Changed (FR), Deep Tach Records Brique Rouge (FR), Hermine Records (AR), Something Else (UK), Blend It (FR). He remixes Wally Lopez, Kolombo, Deep Mariano & Dirty Culture!

0 rating

ALEX PICONE

Melizma / Cadenza // Padova (ITA)

Italian-born Alex Picone’s passion for deep analogue-sounding grooves is all consuming. Ever since he was a teenager, his whole life has been devoted to feeling, sharing and shaping hip-rolling house and techno. And of course, it shows. Whether he’s laying it down at top Italian clubs like Flow or il Muretto, or blasting it out in Berlin where he’s now based, his ego-free approach to DJing attracts true underground party heads in droves.
Alex (aka Alessandro Picone) was born and grew up in Padova, where he started DJing in the mid-90s – when he was just 15 years old. His skills soon landed him regular slots at La Scala in Padova, and from there he began to organise his own house parties before bagging key residencies at Flow and il Muretto. Playing regularly at these clubs, alongside such international talents as Luciano, Richie Hawtin and Ricardo Villalobos, added a momentum to his musical evolution that later propelled him into the world of production.
It was in 2004 that Alex took his first steps as a producer, hooking up with Kay Sand (Francesco Sperotto) to form Chronic Flakes. Their funky-assed tracks quickly earned respect from the likes of Alex Neri, who released two Chronic Flakes’ records on Bustin’ Loose in 2005/6. Neri then unleashed Chronic Flakes’ tech-house extravaganza, the Omnadawn EP, complete with a remix by Guido Schneider, on Tenax Recordings – and included ‘Galicia’ from the EP on his 2008 il Muretto mix.
Alex was on a roll and after six years of living between Padova (in winter) and Ibiza (in summer) he finally adopted Berlin as his new home in late '08. Here he built on an existing relationship with a fellow Italian in Berlin: Lucretio, the label manager of Detroit’s Mixworks. Lucretio had already been mailing Alex’s output to the mastermind of the Mixworks network, Buzz Goree, which led Alex to release ‘Berlin Dub’ as a part of the Persistence EP, Mixworks’ debut release. He followed this up by returning to Mixworks as Chronic Flakes and nailing ‘Numalbix’, which came out on the Dance Tactics EP. 2008 also saw Alex put out his first full EP as a solo artist, Furby Floppy, on Luciano’s Cadenza Records. This won him nods from both peers and press, and ‘Floppy’ went on to feature on Luciano’s Fabric 41 mix, while the slow-burning ‘Berlin Dub’ was included on Âme’s Fabric 42.
Bringing a warmer, more human feeling to mixing than many of his contemporaries, Alex has now played at such clubs as the aptly named Underground in Ibiza and Fabric in London. Plus Cadenza showcases around Europe, from Cocoon Club and Watergate in Germany to the buzzing Black Sea Coast of Romania. He also felt firsthand the force of Underground Resistance when he visited the US to play a couple of sets in Detroit during Movement DEMF 2009. First at a Mixworks’ party, alongside Buzz Goree, Mike Servito and several other real deal DJs, then at an after-hours hosted by the irrepressible Seth Troxler.
2009 sees Alex continue to explore a subterranean landscape of beats through his groove-ridden Motherland EP on Bosconi Records. He also has a third release on Mixworks called ‘No Kiss’, which has already been supported by heavyweights like Luciano, Hawtin, Villalobos and Raresh. And he’s planning another EP, based around his new ‘Mon Amour’ track, complete with an exceptional remix from Chris Carrier. Then there’s another Chronic Flakes collaboration, this time for Mike Shannon’s Cynosure imprint. Not to mention fresh material born of his friendship with Argentinian adventurer Ernesto Ferreyra.
Music. Playing it, producing it, and making it happen for the true heads. This is the fuel that fires the passion of Picone. A life lived for, and through, music.

3 rating

ROBERT DIETZ

Cadenza rec / Cecille - Frankfurt

House - Techhouse

He cut his clubbing teeth on the Frankfurt scene dominated by the likes of Sven Vath, Dorian Paic, Ricardo Villalobos and Luciano, but the flourishing artist leaps all musical boundaries. His only guiding principle can be summed up in words of Chuck Roberts: House is a feeling!

28 rating

CTRLS

Token Records // Copenhagen (DAN)

Troels Knudsen lives in Copenhagen, Denmark and has been immersed in music for most of his life. This focus has mostly been fixed on the club world. And he spent the last 10+ years producing, performing, engineering and dj'ing various electronic genres around Europe and beyond. This activity generated the excentric Pyro drum'n'bass moniker, house works as part of 2400 Operator on Underground Quality and the industrial tinged techno project Northern Structures on Sonic Groove.

After a few years of working in groups it was time to get back to solo work. In 2012 the Ctrls project was iniated with the release of the Interface EP on the new homebase Token Records. A remix of Ø/[Phase]'s Binary Opposition was the follow up, and by then Ctrls tracks had worked their way into the sets of some of the most notable techno djs across the world.

Troels continues to develop his fast paced and futuristic style, seeking out the various nuances of techno and the surrounding genres. Future plans for the project hold more Token Records output as well as dedication to engaged and detailed dj'ing.

2 rating

ITREMA

La Rochelle (FR)

Moïse aka itrema was born in 1980 in La Rochelle, France. His passion for music started in the mid 90’s, and when french Hip Hop blasted national radio shows, he especially found in love with this energetic and raw beats coupled with funk and other 70’s samples from an unknown universe. At the age of 15, itrema recorded this hip hop radio shows and edited them by cutting and pasting the magnetic tapes in order to cut advertisements. He understood that if music has a feeling, some techniques provide to feel it at his best. Discovering a couple of year later, in 1998, vinyl equipment, and artists like Jeff Mills or Derrick May, he bought the infamous technics mk2 and practiced it intensively with his mentor Eric Paquet, supporting labels such as Ozone, F-Communications, Drumcode, Axis, Torema, Underground Resistance, Sonic Groove, Basic Channel etc.. La Rochelle is a good place to promote electronic music, itrema animated a radio show and performed in bars and clubs with Dj E-Rx, John Thomas, Jeff23, Fanox, Bebz, Alber Paderski, Franck-e, Reminiscence, and also in Nantes, Rennes, with Arno Gonzales, Popof, Dj-3000, Electric Rescue, Paul Nazca, Manu Le Malin, Chris Liberator to name a few. In 2008, Itrema became a techno producer. Focusing on writing music and sound design, he incorporated elements of 70’s, 80’s and 90’s influences with melodic grooves, deep chord synths, bleep sounds, associated with a melancholic touch. His first vinyl “ blow up this wall” produced by Fake records ( run by Ismaël and Cedric in Rennes, France ) was acclaimed by French national press ( Tsugi, Trax magazine ) and played by Laurent Garnier. Today, itrema runs his own imprints in digital and vinyl, looking further to gather artists.You can discover a mix on vinyl today on pcb more info :

3 rating

GEORGE MOREL

Get Physical / Groove One Records // Miami (US)

George Morel is an accomplished and evolutionary DJ/Producer and has long earned his bona fides among deejays and fans in electronic dance music scene.

Morel has long earned the legend title and is considered a true global pioneer in the electronic dance music world. For Morel, it boils down to one thing, Morel’s Groove trademark understandably develop a niches and certain sounds that Morel is known for. Morel has crafted a unique style of originality years after year.

Morel is a multiple "Gold & Platinum" records producer, his long term dedication to the "Underground" has made him create timeless anthems.
He has a deep appreciation for music that fills the room and moves the soul. house music's past but engage fully with its future; his sets have energy, precision and soul.

0 rating

MATTHEW HERBERT

IK7 / Tresor // (UK)

“When everything I read politically and watch and hear has been absorbed, there comes a point where
you must feel it viscerally otherwise you are closed to the horrors of it and thus closed to the possibility
of action, closed to the idea that you could make a difference or could have prevented the outcome.
This internalising of the struggle, the friction, the melancholy I feel should be at the emotional core of
the work. After all, I am making music and not writing a newspaper article. But with the invention of
the sampler, I can now explicitly root my work in the literal, critical present. I can describe the real in
the frame of the imaginary.”

For someone so uncompromising in his attitude towards music and its making, for someone so
unafraid to shun the sort of political engagement other, more timid artists consider a commercial turn-
off, Matthew Herbert has been extraordinarily successful in an extraordinary variety of fields. He is
both overall head and A&R man for Accidental Records, which he founded in 2000. He has also acted
as a producer for the label, working with, among others, the Mercury-nominated The Invisible on
their superb eponymous debut. His other production credits include Micachu and the rising young
sequinned hiphop sensation Rowdy Superstar. He has worked in other media too, including scoring
ballet, fashion shows, and theatre – his music has been presented at the Royal Court, on Broadway and
the Almeida. His collaborators have ranged from the playwright Caryl Churchill to purveyor of radical
cuisine Heston Blumenthal. He has scored ten feature films, notably 1999's Human Traffic, writing for
full, 80 piece orchestras in some instances. Whether performing or Djing, he has played all over the
world to sell-out crowds, including venues such as the Sydney Opera House and Hollywood Bowl.

If there is a key to Herbert's success, it's his musical singularity. There has been shimmering, velvet
sweet House. There has been musique concrete. There has been sampling. There has been polemical,
protest pop. However, there has only ever been one Matthew Herbert. His body of work is unique
in collapsing the walls between pleasure and the political, between the realms of created sound and
reality as it is experienced and suffered, between the drily conceptual and the warmly immersive. To his
occasional despair, only Matthew Herbert does what he does.

To those new to his work, a Matthew Herbert album might initially feel like it belongs recognisably
in the realms of dance and electronica – regular rhythms, seductive layers of Techno fabric, diva
vocals, no atonal blasts of avant garde noise to drive away the nervous. However, closer inspection
reveals a layered mass of idiosyncratic quirks, distinguishing it from the majority of dance music and
all its regular presets. Closer reading will reveal that these details are the result of what is to some a
bewilderingly laborious process of sample collection. No snatches of sci-fi dialogue or tenth hand
breakbeats for Herbert. Nor will vaguely suggestive sound effects do – as he explains himself, in the
context of Plat Du Jour (2005), if he wants to make a point about the apple industry, then apples, of
a specific type, scrunched by human teeth, must be integrated into the sonic weave. “If my track was
about the out of season availability of apples and I just used any old apple without considering where I
bought it or where it was grown, my point becomes invalid.”

Reduced to its mere framework and assembly, Herbert's music would qualify admirably as sound
art, or subversive field recordings. He has ventured covertly with microphones into the Houses Of
Parliament, captured the sound of rolling tanks on tape, crematoriums, coffin lids and arm fairs.
However, despite the ugly provenance of his source material, it also lends his music a singularly
delicious tang, properly enhances its desirability as an object of consumption – it isn't designed merely
to be stood back and admired but also to revel in physically. “I can have my artistic cake and eat it,” as
Herbert himself puts it. And so can we. But to be attracted to the music is to be brought up close to the
means of its production.

A trained musician from a young age, Matthew Herbert studied at Exeter University, where he
became acquainted with aleatoric methods, that is to say, the role of chance in music making.
Hearing Steve Reich's 1966 piece “Come Out” proved a particular moment of epiphany. Reich took
a snatch of a recording phrase from one Daniel Hamm, a boy involved in the Harlem riots of 1964.
Replaying the snippet on tape machines slightly out of sync, splitting the loop into two, then four,
then eight, the phrase “Come out” yields a giddying array of effects that wouldn't sound out of place
on a contemporary minimal Techno cut – the phrase is eventually unrecognisable yet its passion
is undimmed, indeed multiplied like the broomsticks cut up in vain by the Sorcerer's Apprentice.
Herbert appreciated how using such found sounds could amount to more than an academic exercise
but “engage with the friction of its time”.

Herbert himself began recording under the name of Wishmountain, conceived while at Exeter
University, exploring concrete methods on such everyday objects as pepper pots, videos, crisp packets.
Not unlike the Dadaists, Herbert was looking for ways to commandeer these unassuming, everyday
objects into his sound. Wishmountain recordings would be derived from eight different recordings of
a single object, using a sampler and sequencer. He would then make a point of exposing this process
onstage, to make a simple but effective demonstration of the inseparability of music and life. Strangely,
the regular, elastic sounds he produced proved quite user-friendly and resulted in a meeting with the
dance duo Global Communication, with whom he briefly worked. Over the next few years, Herbert
would split into various personae. “My heart was well and truly in the the properly experimental
Wishmountain music,” he says. But then there was also Doctor Rockit (“like a playful diary”) and
Herbert (“like an indulgence”).

The series of EPs produced under the Herbert moniker would be brought together on the album
100lbs. Herbert would later distance himself from this early work, in that he felt a little too deeply
implicated in the hedonistic club scene of the time but primarily because he had sampled other people's
music, for which he would later be repentant. “I feel like it is a betrayal of what I really believed to
be the right thing to do at the time. I was seduced and shaped in part by people around me.” Yet
formally, 100lbs feels very much a Herbert album, on tracks like “Desire” and “Thinking Of You”, self-
consciously assembled, precisely weighted, sleek, sending micro-fragments showering and skittering
across its own, silvery surfaces yet plumbing Moog House depths. “Friday They Dance”, meanwhile,
show an arch detachment from the nightclub vibe, the scene in which this music was notionally
supposed to take its place.

Aesthetic and political concerns are key to Herbert's work and he is keen to downplay the personal –
however, the death of someone close to him in 1994 affected him profoundly. For someone whose
work is about making unlikely but undeniable connections with the outside world, his bereavement
brought with it the experience of solitude, an equally undeniable human condition. “This death was the
impetus to push on with my music. It's the silent powerplant at the heart of my work.”

In 1998, Herbert released Around The House. Despite sharing the methodology of San Francisco
avant garde duo Matmos, it's a beautifully carpeted album, a Deep House masterpiece, luxurious and
fabricated to an exquisite standard. Then-partner Dani Siciliano's dreamlike, Diva vocals add to the
dazed, blissful reverie engendered by tracks like “So Now” and “We Still Have (The Music)”. But this is
not an album that “puts out”. A sense of interiority prevails. The music, drawn typically from samples
of domestic objects, is self-contained. There's a feeling of perfect suspense – Around The House
shimmers, hovers and hums, neither tearing up the floor nor tearing off the roof. There is a disquieting
sense of personal isolation amid the velvet folds of the album's self absorption.

2001's Bodily Functions takes the idea of interiority still further. Its sounds are derived not from the
house but from the very body itself, sounds sampled from the teeth, the bones, the eyes, even (in the
form of laser surgery), all of which scratches against a more expansive, jazzier feel. But this is studied jazz, not merely an excuse to get loose and loungey.

By now, the bones of the conceptual were more conspicuous and pointed beneath the flesh of
Herbert's sound. In 2000, he had issued his Personal Contract for the Composition of Music
(Incorporating the Manifesto of Mistakes), whose various points railed against all of the shortcuts
afforded by modern, mechanised recording (drum machines, lifting other people's beats), insisting that
all sounds produced in the studio be reproducible live, be demonstrable. The very act of issuing such a
manifesto, often compared to filmmaker Lars Von Trier's Dogme 95, sets Herbert apart from his more
ideologically and conceptually taciturn contemporaries, who prefer to maintain mute on such matters,
merely present themselves as high-profile conduits for the “flow” of their sounds, rather than explain
and justify themselves.

“It was entirely sudden,” says Herbert of the urge to set down the manifesto. “It was an exciting
realisation - that the artistic agenda in electronic music was there for the taking. I don't mean that in an
arrogant way, but in a practical way. There has never been any magazine or public place for people to
talk about music in the way I was brought up to talk about art, literature, film etc. In creating art, there
are certain fundamental principles underlying each work, exhibition or gallery. What is this work about?
why does it exist now? why use these materials? what is the intended effect? To this day, that kind of
basic questioning doesn't exist in the visible mainstream, or even on campus. Consequently i am left to
my own devices, free to set the tone of discussion, free to drive the narrative and free to push further
on in to uncharted territory. It's a thrilling position to be in.”

2003's Goodbye Swingtime represented a confounding left turn for those who regarded Herbert as a
mere housenik. The word “jazz” has always been vaguely bandied on the fringes of dance music but
never applied with this sort of capability. Herbert's classical musical training, a hitherto discreet aspect
of his performances, was in full evidence as he assembled a full Big Band including four trumpets, four
trombones and five saxes, whose orchestrations were then computer manipulated by Herbert. The
Big Band format was a refreshing new mode of practice. “I came face to face with all those things so
charmingly absent from much of dance music - harmony, acoustic texture, human feel, risk. Like most
bedroom producers I had become a petty tyrant. I was in control of so many decisions it was easy to
become a dictator, closed to the possibility of your own fallibility and limits. The big band is a perfect
expression of the opposite of this - everyone has to do their bit and pull together otherwise it simply
doesn't work.”

The distantly Stan Kenton-ish air of the album, its ostensible post-swing sheen might seem a
deliberately ironic counterpoint to the album's ingrained political content ('the backbone of the album
is political literature”, state the sleevenotes), with paperbacks of Noam Chomsky and Michael Moore
physically used as percussive sound matter on the album. However, there is something inherently
communitarian and political about the very idea of a Big Band, as Charlie Haden had previously
demonstrated with his Liberation Orchestra. “Terry Eagleton describes an ideal society as running as
if in a jazz band - each with their own part to play but free to improvise within a certain framework.
That rang true. It is a humbling and exhilarating thing to play in a band that size where all the noise
generated is acoustically rather than through amplification. The politics of it are explicit in this
organisation of musicians for me so it is a natural place to express socially conscious ideas. What better
way to articulate protest than with others?” Herbert made further investigations with the Big Band
on 2008's There's Me And There's You, in which form and content once again collapsed into one,
a new torch vocal presence was introduced to the world in the form of Eska Mtungwazi, while an
accompanying statement, with signatures from the participating musicians, pressed for the idea that
music be more than merely “the soundtrack to over-consumption.”

After the relatively placid 1990s, the first decade of the 21st century saw a recoiling of political
indignation, in revulsion at the bellicose excesses of the Bush and Blair administrations, and the
dominance of pathologically greedy corporations in an increasingly polarised and resources-starved

world. Herbert never made any apology for addressing these issues directly in his music, rather than
zoning them out as so many of his contemporaries were wont to do. In 2001, under his Radio Boy
moniker, he released the freely downloadable Mechanics Of Destruction, on which the consumer
detritus wrought by a range of big brands is recycled and reused musically, including a copy of The
Sun, Kraft processed cheese slices, two oil drums and a bottle of brake fluid. The titles read like an
accusatory roll call; “The GM Food Chain”, “Gap”, “Oil”, Henry Kissinger”.

On 2005's Plat Du Jour, the theme is food, and the politics of its distribution and consumption. On
tracks like “The truncated life of a modern industrialised chicken” and “Nigella, Tony, George And
Me”, the chain of connection between politics, celebrity and battery farming was explicitly established,
while Herbert's angled, sample-laden music began to feel like a giant, mechanical, pleasure-dispensing
contraption, a strangely joyful listening experience yet jutting with reminders of cruelty and injustice.
This was “processed” music in the best sense, with a website, www.platdujour.co.uk acting as an
important adjunct to the album.

Accompanied by a live show in which (in keeping with his 2000 manifesto) food preparation and
smell was a component, Herbert acquired new levels of commercial success, in tandem with being an
increasingly in-demand collaborator and remixer of other artists, including Bjork, Dizzee Rascall, Roisin
Murphy, Quincy Jones John Cale and R.E.M. This success was further consolidated with 2008's Scale,
on which Herbert dispensed with liner notes but was still more inventive and audacious and politically
pointed in his sound sources, which included someone vomiting outside a Trade Arms fair, drums
recorded in a hot air balloon and a recording, from inside a coffin, of its lid being shut. All of this in
an upbeat musical context of silvery disco flourishes, chugging House beats, warm torch vocals and
orchestration – all of Herbert's strengths brought fully to play on one album.

And now, a trilogy. First, an album in which the sound source is himself alone – he plays all the
instruments, even ventures to sing. The second is sourced from one night in a Frankfurt nightclub,
while the third is sonically derived from the birth, life and eventual death of a pig. Once again, the
medium, the music, the matter, the message will be inseparable.
8 rating


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