If I said to you soul-fuelled jazz-house with a penchant for the cinematic, and you'd probably shrug back in your seat, and begin to panic at the aural chore ahead of you. This needn't be the case, as this my friends is 'Scale' by Matthew Herbert.
Straight from the cult success of 'Ruby Blue', his production outing for Moloko vocalist Roisin Murphy, this is very much the next chapter in the Herbert family biography. Furthering his own bizarre stance on sampling, his political views and his home sweet home approach to house production. Herbert is growing up, and he's taking his music with him.
Bringing swing into the 21st century is not a claim made by many, but if anyone can make this statement it's Matthew Herbert, and 'Scale' is why. Musically diverse from the offset, this album does nothing but deliver. With string arrangements reminiscent of early Jamiroquai, and horn sections tipping the cap to Bacharach, this album should please everyone from headphone listeners, casual musical bystanders and everything in between. Lyrically more forthright than most of Herbert's previous offerings, 'Scale' offers political opinion, social observation and cultural criticisms, and all delivered in a soulfully relaxed vocal style, somewhat akin to Alice Russell, from the likes of regular vocalist Dani Siciliano, this time more the focal point of the music rather than just another layer in the production pile. Herbert has certainly matured on this outing turning himself into the crooner of the nu-jazz house world.
Okay, so where does this leave us? Well, put it this way, if you enjoyed 'Multiply' by Jamie Lidell, ' ' by Moloko and pretty much anything by Fat Freddys Drop, then you should dig this too. Imagine Broadcast woke up on the right side of the bed.
This is Idiosyncratic-jazz-house-sampledelia for the Mods in their smoking jackets watching 'Quadrophenia' again. Enjoy it Boys, and Girls…