Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Herbert - Scale

It's amazing how, after 10 years, he still manages to make such excellent music that never seizes to impress us. "Scale" is the sound of a man getting older and applying all his accumulated wisdom in what he does. This is probably his most accessible album in years and, at the same time, his most luminous. There's more importance given to the songs and the singers themselves and less to the recording methods used (although, apparently, there were still some conceptual efforts made, as the sounds heard in here came from sampling 723 different objects, 37 of which are shown in the album cover). This results in music that is mostly joyful, with occasional moments of melancholy, in memorable and sophisticated songs full of swing, where the strings play an important role to create moments of extreme beauty. And in the meantime, combining elements of jazz, electro, techno, ambience, funk and minimalism, what we have here is an album that becomes the synthesis of its author's musical language. Considering that he's one of the most important musicians around, "Scale" becomes nothing less than obligatory.

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