Matthew Herbert previews upcoming album, The Horse, with lead single ‘The Horse Has A Voice’

Photo: Eva Vermandel

Behold! British artist, producer, composer and experimentalist Matthew Herbert has announced the release of a new album. Entitled The Horse, the record is a collaboration with the London Contemporary Orchestra and saw Herbert enlist an incredible cast of guest contributors, including Sons of Kemet’s Shabaka Hutchings and Theon Cross, Evan Parker, regular Wayne Shorter collaborator Danilo Pérez, Polar Bear’s Seb Rochford and Kokoroko’s Edward Wakili-Hick. A search for the largest possible animal skeleton that could be explored sonically served as the origin for the album, which is based around a full-size horse skeleton. “One of the major narrative arcs through the album”, describes the press release, “is its representation of the evolution of human music itself, opening in a compelling, primitive flurry of custom-made flutes from the horse’s thigh bones and bows crafted from ribs and horse hair”.

The importance of the horse in human history became crucial for the album, and Herbert undertook recordings from various sources including 6900 horse sounds culled from the internet, reverb impulses in front of ancient cave paintings of horses in Northern Spain and sounds recorded at the corner of Epsom race course where women’s suffrage activist Emily Davison was trampled by King George V’s racehorse in 1913. Herbert has also used horse skin drums and a shaker shaped from a mixture of cement and polo horse semen. To help with creating or carving the instruments out of the skeleton, Herbert commissioned instrument makers Sam Underwood, Graham Dunning, Henry Dagg and Lee Patterson.

The Horse arrives on May 26th through Modern Recordings / BMG and to celebrate the release, Herbert has shared the triumphant and propulsive lead track, ‘The Horse Has A Voice’, featuring Theon Cross. We can’t control the impulse to play it again and again. Check it out below.

New Herbert album, Musca, out in October

Matthew Herbert has announced a third instalment in his series of domestic house albums under the name Herbert, following 2001’s Bodily Functions and 1998’s Around The House. The new album is called Musca and saw the British electronic composer collaborate remotely with eight singers, Verushka Grebenar-George, Siân Roseanna, Allie Armstrong, Bianca Rose, Melissa Uye-Parker, Daisy Godfrey, Yakoto Kieck and Joy Morgan. Musca also features six other incredible musicians, Tom Skinner, Nick Ramm, Tom Herbert, Finn Peters, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian and Leo Taylor.

About the album, Herbert commented:

“Like presumably many other albums made during the last year, Musca reflects on navigating the challenges and joys of our most intimate relationships whilst the world is in turmoil. Not just with Covid, but with the rise in state and political violence, facebook-friendly fascism, white supremacy and a climate in crisis.”

Musca will see the light of day on October 22nd through Accidental Records and Herbert has shared a first taste from it, ‘The Way’, featuring Ghanaian-German singer Y’akoto.  ‘The Way’, describes Herbert, ‘is a surrender to the intimacy we found ourselves face to face with on a daily basis’. Listen to it below.

Matthew Herbert shares Absence Dub Remix of Tony Allen & Hugh Masekela’s ‘We’ve Landed’

Photo: Brett Rubin & Bernard Benant

Fela Kuti drummer and Afrobeat founder Tony Allen and South African legendary trumpeter and political activist Hugh Masekela wanted to make an album together for a long time. In 2010 they toured the UK at the same time and producer Nick Gold (Buena Vista Social Club) seized the opportunity to record their original compositions. The recording sessions were unfinished when Masekela passed away in 2018 but intent on bringing this collaboration to life, Allen and Gold finished recording the album last summer with the help of Tom Herbert (Acoustic Ladyland, The Invisible), Joe Armon-Jones (Ezra Collective), Mutale Chashi (Kokoroko) and Steve Williamson. Finally earlier this year year, Allen and Masekela’s collaborative album, Rejoice, was released before Allen’s passing last April. British electronic composer Matthew Herbert, as a tribute to Allen, has given the remix treatment to the closing track ‘We’ve Landed’. He comments:

“It was already a tough brief to remix two such important and wonderful musicians. Before Tony died I was trying my best to make it upbeat and celebratory. But after his sudden passing, all I could hear was his absence. I started on the night I heard the sad news. The mix is in memory of Tony, an inspiring and generous musician.”

Take a listen below.

Rejoice is out now via World Circuit Records

Matthew Herbert shares excerpt from ‘Part 2’ off forthcoming album

Matthew HerbertMatthew Herbert‘s new album The End of Silence comes out later this month. As we had previously mentioned, the album was composed entirely around a 10-second field recording from the 2011 conflict in Libya.
Split into three parts, the British electronic composer had already shared an excerpt from ‘Part One’, and now we can listen to an excerpt from ‘Part 2’. Listen to it below and watch out for the album’s release on June 24th via Accidental Records.

Matthew Herbert reveals details on forthcoming album The End of Silence

Matthew Herbert - The End of Silence

The End of Silence is the new album from British electronic composer Matthew Herbert, set for release on June 24th via his own Accidental Records.
The upcoming effort was composed “entirely from a 10-second sound recording” of an aircraft bombing captured by war photographer Sebastian Meyer in Libya in 2011.

“I wanted to freeze history, press pause, wander around inside the sound—trying to understand its component parts, wondering why it was so scary when I had never actually heard any bomb first hand,” Herbert explains. “In stark contrast to the written reports of the atrocities committed by dictators in the Arab word during the Arab Spring, here was something that rendered it real. It turned the virtual word back in to the visceral. Despite immediate and disparate access to news of world events, 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.”

Herbert “fragmented and atomised” the recording into samples, and it was then improvised by his band comprising musicians Tom Skinner, Yann Seznec and Sam Beste.
Recorded last summer in a barn in Wales over three days, The End of Silence is split into three parts. You can get a taster off it now with an excerpt from the original 24-minute ‘Part One’.