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LISTEN: New Matthew Herbert Clip
Laurie Tuffrey , June 6th, 2013 11:30

Excerpt from Herbert's forthcoming release, The End Of Silence, based on recording of a bomb drop in Libya

Photograph courtesy of Sebastian Meyer

Arch-innovator Matthew Herbert is set to release his new album on June 24 via his Accidental label.

Entitled The End Of Silence, it's based around a field recording of a pro-Gaddafi plane bombing Ras Lanuf in Libya in 2011 made by journalist Sebastian Meyer, which Herbert has transformed into a "jazz quartet" record. We've got a short excerpt from the album, which you can listen to below (have a read of Meyer's blogpost about the event here and listen to his original recording at the foot of this piece):

Mutated and filtered, the recording initially gets re-presented as scraping, atmospheric noise at the beginning of the excerpt, repeating over itself until a pulsating beat gets formed, though more through rapidfire on/off switching of the clip, forming something that curiously neutralises the terror of the original sound.

Speaking about the work, Herbert says: "I wanted to freeze history, press pause, wander around inside the sound - trying to understand its component parts, wondering why it was so scary when I had never actually heard any bomb first hand. In stark contrast to the written reports of the atrocities committed by dictators in the Arab world during the Arab Spring, here was something that rendered it real. It turned the virtual word back in to the visceral. Despite immediate and disparate access to news of world events, it’s rare to find something that punctures the safe veneer of distance that computers create. By hearing this sound, one is compelled to live inside the moment.

"In many ways I think of it as a jazz quartet record - we are just now improvising and playing with texture, memory, meaning and friction as well as the usual tenets of melody, harmony and rhythm. The final album, in three parts, is pieced together from five of these free takes shortened and glued together."

Herbert will be playing Sonar Festival in Barcelona on June 13, and stay tuned to Accidental's website to get hold of The End Of Silence.

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