Matthew Herbert Plat du Jour

A sort of Fast Food Nation for the ears and one of the most bizarre concept albums to date, Plat du Jour enlightens listeners about healthy eating and damns capitalist society for poor farming conditions for animals, coffee shop conglomerates and mass-produced food substances. Inspired by Herbert’s travelling culinary experiences, which reformed his opinions, the album contains samples of 30,000 chickens, 3255 people eating apples and a grain of sugar. Most of the tracks are very minimalist and derive influence from world music such as Indonesian gamelan, favouring tuned percussion similar to xylophones and steel drums on pentatonic scales with a variety of syncopated drums, bells and scratchy samples. The result is electronic Eastern music seen through Western eyes. The only track from the album with a vocalist is "Celebrity,” and while it has an R&B structure, the underlying instrumentation essentially remains the same and it continues the album’s theme by taking a shot at Hell’s Kitchen chef Gordon Ramsay. Plat du Jour is a very enjoyable album; if somewhat awkward listening at first, Herbert keeps the music fun while conveying a political message. In the same spirit he promises to take a chef on tour with him to perform the accompanying aromas and bring local markets in for after the show! (Accidental)