"Even if you're hip enough to love the "Verve Remixed" projects, nothing can quite prepare you for the experience that is Herbert. Never before has such an organic blend been achieved; it's damn near impossible to determine where jazz ends and electronica begins.Tracks like "Suddenly" and "Leave Me Now" percolate at tempos fast enough for dancing, even though their musical backdrops are dreamily mesmerizing, perfect for chilling on a sofa. "On Reflection" takes it one step further and puts its toes right on the edge of the dancefloor; the tempo and percussion make you think the bass drum will kick in at any minute, but the song stays content as a supper club ballad with a beatnik crashing the party with his own bongo drum groove."Addiction" and "I Miss You" are intoxicating ballads with similar percussion flourishes, but other cuts like "I Know" and "About This Time Each Day" prove that ringleader Matthew Herbert could hold his own with straight-ahead jazz cats. Vocalist Dani Sicilliano casts a hazy spell throughout the album, managing to chart that rare territory of vocals that sound dreamy, lazy and still passionate. Herbert goes out with a bang, however, as "The Audience" challenges one and all to sit still while Dani's "move with me" chorus floats over a bubbly and irresistible club groove.The credits are shaped like a human eye and are hard as hell to read, but finding out certain percussion sounds came from laser eye surgery or a mouse who fell into a wastebasket make it well worth the trip. In a way, it all proves "Bodily Functions" is the epitome of jazz: its creative spirit is influenced only by itself and becomes more profound when it feeds off its own origination. Music fans who take the time to sit and absorb "Bodily Functions" before they let it be background fare may well find themselves immobile from the disc's hazy, alluring start to its rousing, celebratory finish. You are hereby challenged to find anything else that sounds like this."
Ahead of the rest.
Eddie McDaid | Glasgow, uk | 02/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A truly astonishing album from start to finish. A more complete work from Herbert, I have not heard. The journey you experience while listening to an album full of clever, heartfelt songs, will leave you completely satisfied and yearning for more. This album is one of those rare musical experiences, which allows you to lie back and drift away with ease, while still holding a rhythm that urges you to tap your foot and shake your thing. 'Suddenly' and 'Leave me Now' encapsulate this perfectly, while 'The Audience', will have you probably being forcibly removed from the dance floor. Beautifully crafted songs set against a backdrop of ingenious beats and samples. Far ahead of its time. Buy now, not later, NOW!!"
Like Everything But The Girl but jazzier & with body sounds
Manny Hernandez | Bay Area, CA | 09/02/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"British keyboardist, producer and DJ, Matthew Herbert, continues to keep it real (as his musical manifesto goes) having put out his eighth production right on time for a summer filled with some largely expected releases: REM, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, Faithless, BJork, etc.For percussion, he sampled all imaginable bodily sounds. In fact, the sleeve reads for one of the songs: "All percussion taken from bodily function sounds kindly donated by strangers and friends around the world." This, he combines with the sound of some more traditional 'instruments' including at some point a very jazzy piano ('The Last Beat' and 'I know' are a good example of this). Finally, Dana Siciliano puts in a touch that makes this production somewhat resemble the sound of Everything But The Girl (songs like 'It's Only' and 'Miss you'), with her sweet voice, to match Herbert's intimate bodily compositions.Not your typical production, not a grand, grand production either, but definitely one that deserves being listened to and given a try."
A Tasty Leftfield House Salad...
DJ Rez | St PaulSt Paul | 07/01/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Matthew Herbert's new album is one of the crucial dance recordings of this year.Although it's going to be categorized as a house record it's much more...there's some gorgeous jazz,and a few killer torch song ballads.The thing that is remarkable about this record is it's sound...all manner of human body sounds were used to craft these tracks,and there's even some sampling of his baby's voice on it.It's pretty safe to say that no other record really sounds like it. If you're into electronica of all kinds you should do yourself a favor and buy yourself this record...."
Sean | Dublin | 07/17/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As DJ Rez mentioned in his review, Herbert's pregnant missus contributed all the squelchy sampled noises that the some of the tracks use, and his baby makes a few guest gurgles. With that in mind, you'd imagine that this is a fairly tuneless album, but you'd be so wrong. Apart from the few jazz interludes, the more dance-orientated tracks are some of the most hummable, funkiest and memorable tunes I've heard all year. It reminds me a little of 'Dubnobass..' by Underworld with it's lo-fi approach and sound effects, but the inclusion of a Suzanne Vega-esque singer (Herbert's missus?) elevates some of the songs into sublime epics. Check out the eerie Twin Peaks sounding 'It's Only' with it's emotional synth washes, the bouncy 'The Audience' with it's jazzy Saint Germain like outro and the tune that's been stuck in my head for the past bloody month, 'You Saw It All' (that bass line at the chorus is hypnotic I tells ya.) His other album 'About the House' is supposed to be better still, but I've yet to locate it."