Matthew Herbert – Plat du jour (Accidental/ Inertia)

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It’s a concept album about food, though more of a political and sociological protest album than a celebration of culinary delights. Every ingredient is carefully measured and used with purpose, the 24,000 one minute old chickens in a commercial hatchery, the sounds of 3,255 people taking a bite out of an apple across the globe (including Melbourne), various slimfast breakfast replacement drinks tied to a bike and ridden around the yard, and the meal Nigella Lawson made for Bush and Blair when he visited to thank the UK for the war effort, remade and driven over by a chieftan mk10 battle tank. So yep it’s ludicrous verging on hysterical with Herbert quite austere about conceptually sourcing and structuring the materials even the bpm’ – on fatter slimmer slower, the bpm is 85 since 85% of British girls have tried dieting by the age of 13. The music is much less seductive than previous albums, much closer to his Radioboy moniker, Dani Siciliano only pops up on one track Celebrity in which she lampoons celebrity endorsements and the remainder of the work is filled with disparate field recordings, admittedly arranged in quite pleasing rhythmic forms. The rhythms are garnered from hitting coke cans, organic pickles, and old rice krispies packets, yet it all retains that rickety off kilter rhythmic house sound that he is renowned for. And though this is much more rickety, much more off kilter than we expect from Herbert it is still very much a Herbert album – though he does have an agenda here and he’ very much shoving it down our throats. In fact the album is only a small part of this package, with his website (www.platdujour.co.uk) containing all sourced the background information on the often grim realities behind the commercialised food industry that are often swept under the carpet.

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Bob is the features editor of Cyclic Defrost. He is also evil. You should not trust the opinions of evil people.

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