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The Herbaliser - Blow Your Headphones


Music review

Set them two turntables on fire! is, certainly, one of the best samples on an opening song (billed as "opening credits") that I've heard in a while. The Herbaliser is two DJ/producers and an alternating mix of rappers, with WhatWhat being the most notable MC. Together, they've made an album that is a compelling and transporting journey.

The lyrical pieces are spaced evenly throughout the album (roughly a 2 - 1 ratio of lyric to non) and are the propelling force. However, with every lyrical burst of energy, the slide into harmonic assemblage comes naturally and easily. In fact, the only point that stands out and gives one pause is WhatWhat's freestyle "Hardcore" where she improvises such memorable lines as "Yeah I remember you down in KayBee buying Barbies for your mom / He said,'No, I was buying that Barbie for myself". Indeed, it seems like Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba, the two kids behind the Herbaliser, were hanging out in the same headspace as the folks that make up the dynamic Japanese acid Jazz trio United Future Organization. UFO's latest release, 3rd Perspective, is a sort of meditation on the theme of spy movie soundtracks. Though UFO takes several steps to update the sound, the compositions would fit right into Sean Connery's 8-track player. Herbaliser does, however, update the spy theme so that it fits seamlessly into the rest of album.

The most impressive sample on the album is a theramin (though, in actuality, I'm sure it's just a keyboard thing) wavering on "Shocker Zulu". Most of the sound assemblages, with the exception of "Shorty's Judgment", steer away from constructing narratives and tend more toward compositions. The compositions are pleasant and vary nicely between the sing-songy "Intermission" and the movement demanding "Mr. Chombee has the Flaw".

As a whole, this is a lengthy and impressive album which definitely gives you your money's worth.

Tags : psychedelic
Rating : Teen - Drugs
Posted on: 2001-03-05 00:00:00