Possibly the hardest thing to comprehend about The End of Silence is its sheer scale; three tracks, the longest of which is more than twenty four minutes long, an avant-garde concept which centres around recreating man's most primal emotions when faced with extreme personal danger - an almost horizonless point of view which is, at times, extremely grim. That it exists at all is testament to Matthew Herbert's mission to carve new shapes into the face of what people classify as music, labelling it challenging listening is possibly the understatement of the year.
Herbert has existed in the gauzy hinterland between noise and art for many years now, his recently released 130 track retrospective Complete being ironically not so, merely a dossier of the recent work released under his own name. No less esoteric than that, The End of Silence is composed entirely from a 10-second recording of war photographer Sebastian Meyer being bombed by Libyan air forces in 2011, "fragmented and atomised" into samples which were then played by members of Herbert's band. It seems obvious at this point to put it to him that it would be far more straightforward to do this using software as opposed to humans: Herbert disagrees, countering with "It's rare to find something that punctures the safe veneer of distance that computers create. By hearing this sound, one is compelled to live inside the moment".
If all of this sounds like an attempt to help shift people's perception through sound, then Herbert is continuing to slide further away from making work which can be easily categorised as entertainment. Although each of the The End of Silence's three parts inevitably explores similar territory, the pulses of white noise, distortion and occasional blasts of war are almost continuously the stuff of nightmares. Whilst this is almost certainly the intention, it doesn't make the listener's journey any easier. This technique of delivering remnants, cut up words and experiences, belongs to the modern hell of Burroughs Naked Lunch, and it's one previously picked over by Throbbing Gristle and the early work of Cabaret Voltaire, both of whom from their skewed 70's Dadaist perspectives viewed aestheticism as the last refuge of the bourgeoisie.
Continue reading: Matthew Herbert - The End Of Silence Album Review
A Week in Video... Wakefield’s indie rockers The Cribs release ‘Leather Jacket Love Song,’ a nostalgic look back at their last decade of existence as a band. The video inter-splices archive footage of one of the brothers’ early gigs at Ossett Town Hall in Yorkshire, with the Cribs circa 2013 observing their younger selves. The Cribs’ sounds hasn’t altered a great deal over time, but their popularity seems to show no signs of wavering; their commitment to their DIY roots remains strong and even with Ryan breaking out with his new band Exclamation Pony, we reckon there’s a few years left in The Cribs yet.
Palma Violets have been causing a stir, with their accessible, psych-tinged garage rock. The video for ‘Step Up For The Cool Cats’ is a vaguely trippy, home-video style shoot; footage of the band playing is mixed with footage of them driving around in a car together, looking like it’s being played back on an old TV set. The band have gained a lot of attention since playing recent slots with London based Savages. It looks like 2013 could well be their year.
For a man who once created a musical project with a narrative that told the life cycle of a pig from birth to date, the video for 'Foreign Bodies' by Matthew Herbert is comparatively pared down - not that it isn't without its eccentricities.
'Foreign Bodies' comes from the 40 year-old's house-influenced LP Bodily Functions. Originally out in 2001, it's being re-released as part of a 'complete' box set that charts the producer and musician's work under his Herbert alias between 1996 and 2006. As well as the four studio albums he recorded - 100 lbs, Around The House, Bodily Functions and Scale - there are a host of of rarities and remixes included within this pretty tasty looking release.
Continue reading: 'Foreign Bodies' A Familiar Track On New Matthew Herbert Boxset (Video)
Matthew Herbert is set to release a box set of four of his best albums under his last name moniker plus a collection of previously unreleased early work. He has also released an artistic new video for his track 'Foreign Bodies' which was taken from his 2001 album 'Bodily Functions'.
The video features numerous bizarre images of skeletal bodies with a strong use of colour on a black background. While the term 'foreign body' is usually used to describe an object inside the body originally from outside of it, he uses it here to show bodies that are, indeed, foreign or alien. It is artistic but highly simple, much like the music itself which is another example of Herbert's talent for using everyday objects such as dripping taps to create music. It's a down tempo electronic number with a trippy edge to it; a great promotional piece for his new box set.
The collections on 'Herbert Complete' include 'Early Herbert' and albums '100lbs', 'Around The House', 'Bodily Functions' and 'Scale'; all his best work between 1996 and 2006. The newly designated director for The New Radiophonic Workshop who has gone under the name of Doctor Rockit, Radio Boy and, more recently, Wishmountain, is set to release the works through Accidental Records March 4th 2013 and it will also include photos, credits, video links and visuals.
Album review of There's Me And Then There's You by Matthew Herbert Big Band
Continue reading: Matthew Herbert, There's Me And Then There's You Album Review