Conceptual house guru and hot air balloonist Matthew Herbert has released the club cuts ‘The Mover and the Shakers’/’Harmonise’ as a double a-side taster for his upcoming ‘Scale’ album, which again sees Herbert stretching his considerable noggin to fuse together the political, the theoretical and the musical.
'The Movers And The Shakers' EP on !K7 is a typical Herbert outing wedding futuristic jazz and orchestral electronica to deceptively barbed lyrics. ‘Scale’ also sees the artist return to song form and soulful accessibility after the industrial chicken agit-prop that was Plat du Jour.
”This record was designed to be more of a celebration. The task I set myself was really just to revisit my song side, to try and do these songs in an interesting way but ultimately to just enjoy the melodies and harmonies. I didn't want the album to buckle under the weight of too many ideas, which 'Plat Du Jour' did at times. I don't want it to be like 'The Da Vinci Code' where people are trying to crack it. I'd rather be 'Foucault's Pendulum'.”
In a world where most dance music producers are more content being Go, Dog, Go, Herbert’s ambition is refreshing. And unlike ‘Plat Du Jour’, ‘Scale’ promises to integrate his political party broadcasts – an album theme is ‘the end of the oil era and the violence done in pursuit of this finite fossil fuel’. Try shaking your ass to that! – into a more emotive dance party groove.
'Scale' also sees the Herbert relax the Dogma-like restrictions of his 2000 manifesto which banished keyboard presets, drum machines, and secondary samples from his music. But Herbert hasn’t abandoned his scrunch-that-crisp-packet production techniques entirely: 'Scale' includes sounds recorded on the Herbert Hotline, a special answering machine on which fans recorded weird and wonderful sounds, and the website for ‘Scale’ has a video on the production process for the album which includes feats of hot air ballooning, river wading, and caving as the highbrow Herbert leaves no stone unturned in his quest for the perfect sample.
Frequent vocal collaborator Dani Siciliano features prominently on 'Scale' alongside a chamber orchestra, a woodwind section, French horns and many of the big band players heard on Herbert's 2003 album 'Goodbye Swingtime'.
Double a-side single ‘Movers and Shakers’/’Harmonize’ is available now.
The Movers and the Shakers Tracklist:
A2 Harmonise (a cappella)
AA1 The Movers and the Shakers
AA2 The Movers and the Shakers (instrumental)
AA3 The Movers and the Shakers (a cappella)
The original versions of both tracks are also available on ‘Scale’, due for release into the shark-infested waters of market capitalism on May 29th.
1. Something isn’t Right
2. The Movers and the Shakers
3. Moving Like a Train
5. We´re in Love
6. Birds of a Feather
7. Those Feelings
9. Just Once
Matthew Herbert will perform live with Dani Siciliano at the Sonar Festival in Barcelona, Spain on Friday 16th, 2006.