Herbert + Jenny Hval at Volksbühne / Sunday, 01.11.2015

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“The Shakes” is Matthew Herbert’s first album under the name HERBERT since 2006’s dark orchestral disco fantasy ‘Scale’ (K7!). The album deals with intensely personal issues such as raising young children against a backdrop of an increasingly unstabl e world and, amongst other things, utilizes the sound of used bullets and shells from eBay as part of its soundscape.

Herbert himself suggests that the record can be seen as a treatise on how “music helps to motivate, provide respite and divert us from the challenges of the everyday” and that it is “electronic music for the soul.”

In many ways, The Shakes is a sequel to Herbert’s much-lauded Bodily Functions album – a record that regularly features in Best Of The ‘90s’ album lists – and is the latest in a series of albums that stretches back nearly twenty years to his minimalist house classic 100lbs. It follows a vinyl-heavy trio of underground releases last year (part 6,7,8) and is Herbert’s attempt to “seduce the listener back to the dance-floor”.

Herbert comments: “When I started writing music, I did it because I could, because there was a chance to, because I liked it. As I get older these reasons become less compelling. At a time when inequality is rising to unprecedented extremes and when the system we have created is designed to destroy rather than nurture, music’s propensity to noodle inconclusively can seem unhelpful at best. Who needs diversion when action is required? However, music can’t only and always be a call to arms, it can also tenderize and engulf when comfort is needed. This album then is an attempt to find a middle ground between those two positions.”

“Think big, girl, like a king, think kingsize”: Jenny Hval’s new record opens with a quote from the Danish poet Mette Moestrup, and continues towards the abyss. Apocalypse, girl is a hallucinatory narrative that exists somewhere between fiction and reality, a post-op fever dream, a colourful timelapse of death and rebirth, close-ups of impossible bodies — all told through the language of transgressive pop music.

When Norwegian noise legend Lasse Marhaug interviewed Jenny Hval for his fanzine in early 2014, they started talking about movies, and the conversation was so interesting that she asked him to produce her next record. It turned out that talking about film was a great jumping off point for album production.

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Hval’s songs slowly expanded from solo computer loops and vocal edits to contributions from bandmates Håvard Volden and Kyrre Laastad, before finally exploding into collaborations with Øystein Moen (Jaga Jazzist/Puma), Thor Harris (Swans), improv cellist Okkyung Lee and harpist Rhodri Davis. All of these musicians have two things in common: they are fierce players with a great ear for intimacy, and they hear music in the closing of a suitcase as much as in a beautiful melody.

This event is presented by Digital in Berlin. Check out our Facebook page to win tickets.

Herbert + Jenny Hval

Sunday, 01 November 2015 | 20:00 CET
Volksbühne | Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz | 10178 Berlin/Mitte

matthewherbert.com | jennyhval.com | volksbuehne-berlin.de

 

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