Matthew Herbert Raises the Bar By Scaling Down

I'm probably screwing myself by going out and buying music on the weekends - being that I am but a poor quarter-lifer trying to pay my rent as a publicist and freelance writer. Nonetheless, I will use my quitting of smoking as a good reason to spend on things like Ellen Allien's Stadt Kind double vinyl LP, Boards Of Canada's Trans Canada Highway EP, and - my most exciting of today's trio - Matthew Herbert's Scale.

Out on K7 records, which also houses Funkstorung and Four Tet, Scale is the latest LP from the man who also goes under aliases such as Doctor Rockit, Wishmountain, Radio Boy, and Transformer. Regardless of monikers, Herbert has been making music for a decade, and has become one of Britain's most innovative artists. Majorly electronic, his music is often that of a magical soundtrack, covering a landscape of jazz, house, experimental, avant-garde, and hip hop. "Harmonise" is one of my favorites, and it's amazing how I could love a track like "We're In Love,' considering it is both lyrically and sonically the kind of Broadway/Disney-esque bullshit that I tend to run from faster than wedding altars. It is, however, interwoven in the midst of eleven tracks of so many other sounds and ideas that it makes perfect sense. Though much more gentle than some of his other releases, I find that where this record lacks in being hungry for your every percent of attention, it's more soulful that most of his earlier works. The female vocals combined with the soft electronics that smooth their hands along sheets of throbbing bass and strings (i.e. "Down") are a perfect example of how Herbert has raised the bar by scaling down.

The very few North American tour dates of Matthew Herbert:
8.20 - Sonotheque - Chicago , IL
8.21 - Chicago Summer Dance Millenium Park - Chicago , IL
8.22 - B Side Liquor Lounge - Cleveland, OH
8.23 - Irving Plaza - New York, NY
8.24 - Club Soda - Montreal
8.25 - Harbourfront Centre - Toronto
8.26 - Mezzanine - San Francisco, CA
8.27 - Hollywood Bowl - Los Angeles, CA

Matthew Herbert - "Down"

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