Matthew Herbert

Scale

Originally known for his creative sampling and knack for assembling off-kilter sound sources into blissful dance beats, British electronic producer Matthew Herbert used his last two albums as a platform for more worldly concerns. Sampling war protests and the sounds of industrialized chicken farms (among other things), Herbert created tracks aimed more at social discourse than body movement. On Scale, however, his polemics are restrained and his sources obscured. As a result the tracks are far less experimental, given over instead to disco hooks and soulful jazz shuffles, with longtime collaborator Dani Siciliano’s breathy croon gliding overtop. Though less overtly political, Herbert still sneaks sly social commentary into his tunes, sampling Tornado bomber planes, coffins, and gas pumps. It’s these sounds, coupled with the somber lyrics on tracks like “Something Isn’t Right” and “Wrong,” that indicate all is not well, even though the glossy sheen and celebratory pulse of his rhythms might indicate otherwise.

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