Moloko, “Sing It Back (Herbert’s Tasteful Dub)”
The first thing that seduces you about a Herbert production is the sensuousness of noise sounds. There’s very little here in the way of “natural” sounds, maybe the deep deep bassline. So whadda we got?: snares and kicks so filtered to fuck all that they sound like a child splashing through puddles. And then a bunch of well…sounds: glitches, drones, something which could be an organ, but again I doubt it. There’s a voice too (I’d guess probably the only original part of the track to remain), so grainy and wistful it seems sampled off a 78 rather than a DAT. (He also splices a “t” onto “gracefully” so that the singer is quote: “…(t)a(ste)fully falling away.” It’s a bizarre and compelling statement.) But it’s all aranged so – as the title sez – tastefully that it feels positively glorious, like a hairshirt or a pumice stone. Musique concrete house? Matmos with the breaks on? Leave aside his often silly Dogme 95-style sampling manifesto (he’s partly right of course; there’s a piece of me which knows if he hears one more sampled 70s funk break or flute he shall scream and loudly) and it’s a bit like the appealing (in spite of itself?) slickness of jazz-funk as re-written by Pierre Henry.