I. Matthew Herbert, 29, Englishman, resident in London. Pianist or keyboard player by trade. At the beginning of the 90s, he became addicted to the unlimited possibilities of the sampler. Since 1995, under various pseudonyms, he has released the most exciting electro-acoustic music of the present day.
II. For an up and coming musician who feels no urgent need to rebel against his parental home, Matthew Herbert’s prerequisites were extremely favorable. His father, a BBC sound technician, "always surrounded himself with melodious technology." At the age of four, Matthew took up the violin and piano, at seven he sang in the choir (we are reminded of the relationship of Anglican Church music to US gospel) and played in orchestras and at 13 was a keyboard player in bands. At school, he had the good fortune to have a music teacher who considered Reich, Xenakis and jazz standards to be the equal of Beethoven. When he went to uni, he already had his own home studio, which he used in his drama studies. A desire for an interaction of music and performance led him to work with the sound material available, "to create a direct relationship between what the public sees and what it hears". To do this, he made use of what is in (not only) his opinion the most significant instrument of all time: the sampler. It therefore happened that a classically trained musician made his first significant appearance (January 95) not at the piano or playing a violin, but using a sampler, microphones and …. a bag of chips. The rule that Matthew Herbert’s art unwaveringly follows is, "The use of sounds that exist already is not allowed" – a significant reason why he will never drown in an ocean of processed, synthetic, reciprocally sampled and therefore similarly sounding music.
III. The rest is public knowledge: Contacts with the electronic and dancing avant garde – the differentiation of his musical interests as "Wishmountain" or "Radioboy" (techno), "Doctor Rockit" (jazzy electro) and "Herbert" (house) – appearances around the globe as a DJ or as a live act with his entire reproduced kitchen – sound tracks, fashion shows and noise and art. As well as an uninterrupted series of independent releases, which when tallied together have long since surpassed a quarter of a million sales units. The resulting calls from worldwide media groups, just like the sponsoring deals and all the other excesses of modern product management, have been politely declined, however.
IV. Because: Matthew Herbert is a left wing humanist and an idealist.
His business maneuvers follow the same logical consistency as his music: No bullshit. His presence – what that means in view of this speed of development should by now be clear – is characterized by song writing and jazz. The formerly differentiated factors are growing together and have been given their most mature expression so far in "Bodily Functions". This disc, made from "new" sounds as always, is pure beauty: a loving homage to 40s standards, a transcendental amalgamation of folk, jazz and house, in whose body of sound piano, strings, acoustic bass and processed ambient noises accumulate to form an unpretentious grandeur, crowned by Dani Sicilianos ethereally present voice.
V. Matthew Herbert’s favorite quote: "Fail again, fail better". (samuel beckett)
VI. Fail? What does he mean, "Fail"?