Matthew Herbert: Bodily Functions – album review

Matthew Herbert: Bodily Functions (Special Edition) (Accidental Records)
2CD/Ltd Vinyl/DL
Available now

‘Bodily Functions’ originally released in 2001, was instantly hailed by many as a masterpiece by many leading music journalists and experts. Created by Matthew Herbert and his first release for the Studio !K7 label, the album was praised for its use of ‘found’ sounds including: laser eye surgery, internal organs, hair and teeth.

In the end though, it’s not the hype and originality of his approach that counts, it’s the music itself. So does it stand up 11 years on in a genre of music that is constantly evolving and developing? The answer is a resounding YES! This is House music with a brain, a heart, and a soul. Regardless of what ‘instruments’ were used, it’s the classic instrument (the human voice) that makes this record shine.

On tracks such as Leave Me Now, Foreign Bodies, and You Saw It All, the instrumentation, although excellent and extremely progressive, are overshadowed by the gorgeous vocals.

‘Bodily Functions’ varies between, House, Jazz, Blues and Warp label Glitch. The album is a triumph of the dance LP as art. This is Monet not Guetta. It should be consumed as a whole, and not just selected tracks. Play this loudly in the bath, in the club, in the car, in the living room, and it will fit perfectly every single scenario.

After the original album, we get CD 2 which offers us 13 remixes of tracks from the original LP. Of the 13 tracks, 3 really stand out.

DJ Kozes’ remix of It’s Only takes us much deeper than the original and has a much darker edge to it but it still let’s the vocals shine through making for an excellent juxtaposition.

Richard Devine turns Leave Me Now into a heavier Techno track, and Mr Ozio makes Back To The Start a much more glitchy affair.

All in all, the second CD is much more for fans of Aphex Twin, Squarepusher, Flying Lotus et al and

This reissue is a timely reminder of a classic album and a perfect introduction for people looking to get into the genre.


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Raised by music obsessive parents on a diet of Ska, Bowie, Queen… and the Bay City Rollers. Discovered dance music and heavy metal at the same time making for a strange brew of taste. I do this for the love of an art form which welcomes all types and speaks to us all. Find me on twitter @simontucker1979.


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