Matthew Herbert shares the latest single to be taken from the new Herbert album “Musca” featuring vocalist Mel Uye-Parker, set for release 22nd October on Accidental Records. This follows earlier sounds from the album, Fantasy featuring Verushka and The Way featuring Y’akoto.
Slated for release 22nd October on Accidental Records, Musca is the next in the series of domestic house albums to follow Herbert’s groundbreaking LP classics Around The House (1998), and Bodily Functions (2001) which were recently reissued on vinyl as part of the label’s ‘21st anniversary of the Accidental label’ series of celebrations.
2021 is proving to be a bumper year for Herbert fans as Accidental announces a package of special 12” remixes featuring two of Herbert’s best loved house remixes – Moloko Sing It Back (Herbert’s Tasteful Dub) from 1998 and Louie Austen – Hoping (Herbert’s High Dub) from 2002 – due for release on 12th November. This is preceded by the theatrical release of “A Symphony of Noise” – a documentary that follows the last 20 years of Matthew’s work and process.
After the wide expanse of his last big band album The State Between Us made with more than 1000 musicians and singers across Europe, this album instead is inward looking. Born of both intimacy and collaboration, features eight singers, Verushka, Siân Roseanna, Allie Armstrong, Bianca Rose, Mel Uye-Parker, Daisy Godfrey, Y’akoto and Joy Morgan – all of whom Matthew has never worked with before or met face to face. It also features musicians Nick Ramm, Tom Herbert, Tom Skinner, Finn Peters, Cevanne Horrocks-Hopayian and Leo Taylor, who, like the singers, all self-recorded and in isolation from each other.
Matthew says: “Like presumably many other albums made during the last year, Musca reflects on navigating the challenges and joys of our most intimate relationships whilst the world is in turmoil. Not just with Covid, but with the rise in state and political violence, facebook-friendly fascism, white supremacy and a climate in crisis.”
Matthew has talked about the need to retreat to an earlier, more familiar way of creating music as a form of solace during an unstable year. Having completed his PhD last year about the ethics of composing with sound and with his next experimental project based on more than one billion sounds, Musca is a moment of introspection, a pause. The album takes its name from musca – the genus part of the latin name for a housefly and includes a variety of sounds from around the farm where he lives, including a synth made from his wife’s dog, one of his pigs snoring and fox cubs gekkering.
Matthew continues, “The week last year when I wrote most of these songs seems like another era altogether. I have no idea how they will sound a year later now the context has changed so markedly. The optimist in me wants to leap forwards, vaccinated into the sunshine brandishing the NHS logo, but the realist in me is aghast at the wave of death unleashed upon this country by an incompetent and corrupt government. The record probably has ended up with both of those things however – optimism that an alternative way of organising ourselves is possible and anger and gloom that we’re not there yet.”
The 14 track album has been mixed by Matthew and mastered by long term collaborator and Grammy winning engineer, Mandy Parnell (Björk, Brian Eno and Aphex Twin). The artwork is by Sarah Hopper who has done nearly all the artwork for Matthew’s house music output for 25 years.
Musca vinyl pre-orders are now available in limited edition yellow vinyl, red transparent vinyl exclusively at online record store Bleep as well as standard black vinyl plus CD.
Bleep is also stocking Around The House, available as a triple vinyl in black, transparent ‘sky blue’ or ‘pearl house’ white. As they wrote of the record…“Herbert solidified his reputation as one of electronic music’s greatest conceptual artists. Largely made from tones you’re likely to hear in the home; the clinking of glasses, the scraping of cutlery, the spray of an aerosol can. The humbleness of its musical raw materials belies the fact that it’s Herbert’s first great masterpiece.”
Similarly,Bodily Functionsreceives the coloured vinyl treatment, available as a triple vinyl in black, transparent grey or lavender. “Bodily Functions has the air of an opus, an LP so effortlessly captivating and brilliantly strange that you’d forget it was made by a person – which is ironic, given that the majority of its fleshy textures are quite literally ‘human’. As boundlessly playful as it is implacably audacious….Bodily Functions turns the term ‘electronic body music’ completely on its head.” Both releases are limited to 250 copies each.
2021 also sees the release of a special documentary by Enrique Sánchez Lansch about Matthew and listening. Entitled A Symphony Of Noise, the film delves into Matthew’s sound worlds, following him through 20 or so of his projects as an electronic musician, artist and sound activist over 10 years. The film which is now released in German cinemas, was produced by Kloos and co and distributed by Rise and Shine Cinema and has already been shortlisted in two categories for Best Cut and Best Sound Design in the national film award of Germany, Deutscher Filmpreis 2021. You can watch the trailer here.
In other news, Matthew has been nominated for Best Television Soundtrack at The Ivor Novello Awards for his work on the BBC One drama series, Noughts + Crosses. He also picked up an award for Re-mixer of the Year at the The Music Producers Guild Awards 2021.
Matthew Herbert is a widely acclaimed composer, producer and writer based next to the marshes of East Kent. His most recent album, The State Between Us was a collaboration across borders between 1000 musicians as part of the Brexit Big Band (2019), prior to that he released an album that was a book – the Music (A Novel Through Sound) published in 2018. A Nude (2016) soundtracked 24 hours of human activity through recordings of a single body. Matthew wrote the score for the Oscar-winning Chilean film A Fantastic Woman, the Academy Award nominated documentaryThe Cave, recent Julianne Moore film Gloria Bell and the acclaimed West End play People, Places and Things.
Pre orders now live: smarturl.it/Herbert_Musca
All tracks written & produced by Matthew Herbert
‘Two Doors’ vocals by Joy Morgan
‘Hypnotised’ vocals by Mel Uye-Parker
‘Chain Reaction’, ‘Let Me Sleep’ & Gold Dust vocals by Bianca Rose ‘Fantasy’ vocals by Verushka
‘Might As Well Be Magical’, ‘The Impossible’ & ‘The Horror’ vocals by Allie Armstrong ‘The Way’ vocals by Y’akoto
‘Tell Me A Secret’ & ‘Unrestorable’ vocals by Siân Roseanna
‘Be Young’ vocals by Daisy Godfrey
Mixed by Matthew Herbert
Mastered by Mandy Parnell
Cat. No. AC165 – All rights reserved ℗ & © Accidental Records 2021 https://www.accidental.co/