Also included is a collection of Herbert's early works, originally released on a series of long-lost 12-inches in the mid-'90s. Herbert had previously distanced himself from these productions, as they didn't meet the standards outlined in his Personal Manifesto for the Composition of Music, which he drew up in 2000 (no sampling the work of others, no replicating the sound of acoustic instruments). This would probably make them the clincher for Herbert completists wondering whether this "digital boxset" is worth their cash. As it happens, these early recordings are probably worth the price of admission alone: sturdy and timeless, they could have have been recorded yesterday, or even next year.
The bonus tracks on 100lbs are a near match in quality for the album itself, in particular the playful, scratchy Moog adventures of "The Puzzle" and "Back, Back, Back, Back," which cuts an ingeniously straight line, broken up only by Herbert's little signature jumps. The "Housey Housey Version" of "Mistakes" runs like clockwork, too, all clips and squelches marinated in a deep, spacey mix.
1998's superb Around the House, featuring former partner Dani Siciliano on vocals, benefits from the remastering inasmuch as it's significantly louder than the original (the original CD release was maddeningly low in volume). Among the bonus tracks, Herbert's own dizzy, dub remix of "Going Round" stands out. "Deep Inside of Me" leaps out and grabs you in a way the more demure material from the original album doesn't.
Bodily Functions, which had its own reissue at the end of last year, saw Herbert extend further his outlandishly strict sampling regime (body parts-related samples only), before in 2006, with Scale, he made the political nature of his methods abundantly clear in the sourcing of his samples (from a coffin lid closing to an arms trade fair), while the album displayed the full gamut of his talents from beatmaker to big band arranger. Best of the remixes is Jamie Lidell's raw, juicy, funky version of "Moving Like a Train." Bonus tracks include five purely orchestral takes on Scale recorded at Abbey Road. The pick of the litter is "Flames," whose latticed rhythms recall one of Herbert's earliest influences, Steve Reich.
The sheer quantity, as well as the quality of the extra material here makes this more than a workaday reissue. Think of it not as extra odds n sods but as full disclosure, one of Herbert's key principles.