Chris Herbert – Constants (Room40)



Constants is Chris Herbert’s first full length album since the excellent 2006 Kranky release, Mezzotint. Like its predecessor, Constants is a wonderfully lush statement of glitchy and noisy ambience.

Why so long between releases? The UK based Herbert explains that “certain life events” restricted his time for creative work, so instead of recording new tracks he drew on a collection of recordings made between 2007 and 2013 as his sound sources.

It seems that Herbert had a wealth of material in his archives as Constants is a through composed tour de force of ever shifting timbres and atmospheres.  Herbert masterfully balances the use of noise with pitched elements. From subliminal static and lo-fi hum to opaque pads and drones, Constants has a ceaseless ability to unfold throughout its ten tracks – many of which morph into each other.

If there is any criticism of the album it’s that the thickness rarely abates.  Some breathing space would have been welcome at some point, but if you’re going to drown in a sonic space Constants provides a good place to do it.

Constants is released on the label Room40. If this kind of thing is your cup of tea, be sure to check out Herbert’s Wintex-Cimex 83 EP, on the same label and created from the same back catalogue of audio as Constants.

Matt Wakeling


About Author

Matt Wakeling's first LP was Kiss 'Double Platinum'. He is the host of 'Guitar Speak', an interview based podcast launching in mid 2016.