Herbert, 100lbs (plus bonus disc)

Mark Richardson

By Mark Richardson

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

100lbs (plus bonus disc)

A reissue of this producer’s debut album, complete with a disc of b-sides and rare tracks

On the early 12-inch singles collected for his first album 100 lbs., versatile house producer Matthew Herbert was unconcerned with politics or conceptualism. Instead, the focus remained squarely on spare, tasteful and pleasingly funky house that showed his sense of swing fully developed. There are few vocals and no pop tunes, but "Rude" has a terrifically catchy neo-jazz synth hook, "Resident" harbors a relentlessly tuneful melody, and a Getz/Gilberto snippet even pops up on the smooth "Oo Licky" (sampling records became a no-no for Herbert once he published an aesthetic manifesto.) The bonus disc of period b-sides and rare tracks is wilder and shows more of Herbert's trademark humor, and also introduces his partner Dani Siciliano. "Mistakes — Housey Housey Version" takes the vocal hook from "Take Me Back" for a ride on a classic Herbert groove, with odd percussion of indeterminate provenance hammered into a pounding beat. "No More Borders" is filled with squelchy noises on the cusp of annoyance propelled into unremitting, dance floor-beckoning motion. Both discs, taken together, offer a well-rounded and satisfying portrait of an important artist at the dawn of his career.