This ‘Herbert’ review was written by ‘The Gray Area Show‘ host Nick Gray, a GIGsoup contributor.

‘Bodily Functions’ ranks as a peak in the first decade of the millennium of electronic and twisted soul music. Either side of the 2001 release, ‘Matthew Herbert’s’ peerless musical career has included left-field takes on House, recording an album reflecting the sounds of a pig’s life and two journeys fusing a big-band with organic sampling.

Back under his ‘Herbert’ banner and moving nearer the centre, ‘The Shakes’ feels like a blend of 1998’s ‘Around the House’ and ’06’s ‘Scale’. There is a link to those soulful collaborations with Dani Siciliano on the galloping ‘Middle’, furnished with horns and subtle guitar riffs. The horn section and samples play a prominent role on ‘Smart’, taking advantage of an impressionable chorus by repetition, similar to the outstanding work with Róisín Murphy on her ‘Ruby Blue’ LP, debut ‘Stop’ has all the ingredients of a song that will be included on a future ‘Best of…’ compilation while the ethereal ‘Bed’ and ‘Warm’ would not be out of place on the aforementioned ‘Bodily Functions’.

The twelve compositions within deserve much more than filing under ‘Dance’ as Mr Herbert takes his organic sounds and rhythm patterns into other areas. The choice of different vocalists such as Ade Omotayo and Rahel Debebe-Dessalegne allow these compositions to reach their potential. Always an engaging ride, this is a worthy addition to the Matthew Herbert discography.

‘The Shakes’ is out now on ‘Accidental Records Ltd.’

The full track-listing for ‘The Shakes’ is as follows…

‘Battle’

‘Middle’

‘Strong’

‘Smart’

‘Stop’

‘Ones’

‘Bed’

‘Even’

‘Safety’

‘Silence’

‘Warm’

‘Peak’

‘Maul’ bonus track

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Herbert The Shakes LP

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