Herbert “Smart”

Matthew Herbert is one of the most skilled purveyors of the weird and wonderful. This is the man that recruited master chef Heston Blumenthal as a collaborator and turned the life cycle of a farmed pig into a peculiar, yet sophisticated bout of electronica back in 2011. He’s been a busy man since. In 2012, he was appointed as the creative director of the revamped BBC Radiophonic Workshop. Then came his debut opera at the Royal Opera House, a score for the BFI and an album in a week live on stage and with an audience at the Deutsche Oper Berlin.

The Shakes is Herbert’s first outing under the name Herbert since 2006’s grand Scale on K7!. As a project, it’s anchored by intensely personal issues such as raising young children against a backdrop of an increasingly unstable world.

“Smart” utilises quirks from a Wormwood Scrubs piano as its spine, while Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne – who has also worked with the likes of Hejira and Nitin Sawhney – provides the playful vocal flourishes on top. The accompanying video, which we’re also premiering today, has childhood nostalgia scribbled all over it. Anyone that loved flitting through Argos’ various sections will find comfort in Herbert’s skimming of home electronics in the catalogue.

It arrives on June 1st via Caroline International on CD and vinyl. Matthew Herbert will be on our screens later this evening with contemporaries Photonz, The Maghreban & Damon Frost – find out more information about it here.

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