Format: Compact Disc
Released Date: February 19, 2002
Number of Discs: 0
Herbert: Matthew Herbert (various instruments, programming, samples).
Additional personnel: Dani Siciliano (vocals).
The music of Matthew Hebert has engendered far more notoriety for his screwball production methodologies than any qualitative analysis of the rich electronic-based sounds he creates. It's not surprising given Herbert's propensity towards elaborate manifestos, bizarre sound samples, and daredevil recording antics. Operating at the confluence of high-art and grass-roots electronica, his music reveals subtle layers of found sound, acoustic jazz textures, and skeletal dance beats--all with an accomplished musicianship that indicates a scope that's far beyond the strictures of typical computer-based techno productions. After a spate of singles releases under a variety of alias, AROUND THE HOUSE is his first proper album under his surname and eponymous moniker.
Collaborating with his romantic partner, jazz singer Dani Siciliano, AROUND THE HOUSE is an intimate portrait of domesticity as a springboard for creative resourcefulness. Utilizing sound sources gathered and sampled from kitchen appliances, flatware, and other sundry household implements, the items' inherent percussive qualities are exposed through creative looping and sequencing--snared at the precipice between musique concrete and jazz syncopation. On the ambient intro of the opening track "So Now," barely-audible murmuring and footsteps suggest that the listener is intruding on a particularly private moment of reverie. Breezily settling in to the propulsive thump of four-on-the-floor house, the track sounds more suited for smoky jazz clubs than all-night raves--with Siciliano's breathy, seductive voice echoing the greats of the vocal cool movement. On more straight-ahead instrumental house tracks like "We Still Have (The Music)" and "Close to Me," Herbert trades the verit‚ realism of found sounds for warm, jazz-inflected electronic pianos and a funky walking bass line--revealing his inner Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards.