Matthew Herbert does the locomotion on his latest single, ‘Moving Like A Train’, a hyper-funky fusion of supple rhythms and sumptuous melodies. Taken from Herbert’s highly acclaimed new album, ‘Scale’, the track bounds effortlessly along on a mighty groove and a mass of contradictions: tight yet elasticated, minimal but opulent, soulfully warm yet clinically exact.
In keeping with the album’s subversively seductive spirit, ‘Moving Like A Train’ features the sampled sound of coffin lids lurking among its colourful polyrhythmic chatter and honey-smooth vocals courtesy of Dani Siciliano. But even if the subtext of the record is creeping mortality, global inequality and the end of the oil age, Herbert still manages to make it sound like the party to end all parties. Just jump aboard his zooming, yapping, hand-clapping express train of fast-forward sensory overload.
On ‘Moving Like A Train’, he calls on the remixing skills of post-modern soulman Jamie Lidell and neo-disco cut-up duo Smith n Hack. Their trio of exclusive mixes pimp up the song’s rhythmic architecture with superfreak funk workouts, wildly tweaked samples and slap-happy basslines that bounce to Level 43 and beyond. Here Philly disco polish meets glitch-tech Eurofuturism, Chic syncopation meets Brechtian alienation, fuzzy logic meets pinpoint precision.
All aboard the Dis-Orient Express.
With ‘Moving Like A Train’, Herbert delivers a lush pop locomotive that is not just instantly enjoyable but also technically dazzling and rich in metaphorical meaning.
This train has already left the station. Enjoy the journey because you just can’t get off.