Herbert Around the House

A lot has been written about the anomalous sound sources Matthew Herbert used, such as a dishwasher, toaster and a toothbrush, in order to compose his assorted twelve-inch releases, collected here, but this is merely a novelty. What matters is how Around the House sounds, and the fact is that Herbert produced some of the best minimal, tech and deep house in the late '90s, played by better DJs everywhere. Tracks like "Never Give Up" and "The Last Beat" depicts his talent for producing deep, dreamy and pensive house, contrasted by the nervous, clipped, mutant, micro-house tunes with vibrant soulfulness, like "Close To Me" and "So Now." In my opinion, the crowning pinnacle track is "This Time," since it is unique, in that there are no beats, rather a steady bass-aorta-valve-like-throb pumps life blood into this tune while vocalist Dani Siciliano, whose sensuous yet delicate voice appears throughout the album, chants and croons to several well-timed beeps and clicks that give form and movement to the track. Having all the twelve-inch tracks compiled into one easy to carry and accessible CD is a great idea, and these house tracks are exemplary. (!K7)