Vox Hunt: A Favorite Song from ’06

Audio:  Share one of your favorite songs from 2006.

Pitchfork: There was a track written about on Pitchfork recently, "Something Isn't Right", the first track on Scale,
and the writer, Mark Pytlik, said that you could tell in a few moments
it was a Herbert track. And I think that's true; despite how different
your records sound from each other, there is something there, a thread
through them. I know that at various times you've talked about music as
a way of getting away from ego, but I do feel like there is something
you can't get away from. I'm not sure exactly what it is; to me it
seems like a rhythmic sensibility that informs your work, a swing that
sound like Herbert. Are you aware that a part of yourself is in there,
regardless of the materials you're working with?

MH: I'm not. I'm really not. I know I have patterns and I've always
tried hard to avoid them. There are definitely certain things in my
music, if I'm looking back, "Well, that was a period where I was
experimenting with a certain kind of chord structure or a certain kind
of sound." I've tried really hard, but I'd be hard pressed to tell you
what that sound, what that tangible sound of "me" is. I think rhythm
is, when you talk about rhythmic sensibility, quite perceptive in that
I like to have at least one thing that is at least common or familiar
to the audience. Other than rhythm, the only thing I could say is that
I take a great deal of pride in every single sound I use. I'm always
making sure that I'm not using a pre-set or something that everyone
else has done. I try to be original in every piece of music I do, and
of course I probably fail every time.

Pitchfork: Let me ask you– that moment in "Something Isn't
Right" where he sings, "Do you re-mem-ber?" First time I heard that it
reminded me of "September" by Earth Wind & Fire. I was sitting with
my wife and I asked her, Do you think that's a direct reference to that
song, or is it just a few notes that sound similar?

MH: There is a very slight reference there. It's a reference to the
11th of September because that's what the Earth Wind & Fire tune
was called. I almost had it "Do you remember? The 11th of September?"
But there was no way I could possibly put that in.

Pitchfork: So that's the kind of reference you're talking about, where you embed those kinds of things in the music.

Exactly. And the record's full of them in different places. It's
kind of like, trying to use every weapon in your arsenal to point
people in a certain direction.

Strung out

[…] Recorded live at Abbey Road Studios, the strings
on Scale are the most sumptuous musical elements to ever appear on a
Herbert record. Wags have already said they're more Lawrence Welk than
Nelson Riddle. True, there is something corny about them, but the corniness works:
Disco was full of records that equated opulence and upward mobility with the
in-house orchestras of 1940s Hollywood. In the race to link disco to house
and techno and beyond, people forget that there was always a brassy,
Broadway vibe to the best disco. After all, it was a short walk downtown from Guys
and Dolls to Kid Creole and the Coconuts. […]

The reviewer nails it.

I haven't stopped smiling today since I saw a fax mentioning an early-August concert date at the shed up the hill from where I sit. Scheduled performers? K.C. and the Sunshine Band, Gloria Gaynor, Tavares and Sister Sledge.
Talk about "lost in music."