Herbert

Parts 1 (reissue)
Herbert
Parts 1 (reissue)
Wasn’t going to bother putting it in the newsletter, but to be honest this weekend I was working in the shop three days straight and must’ve listened to ‘See You On Monday’ 20 times or more. Perfect soundtrack to Friday night giddiness, Saturday hangover, Sunday soul-searching and all points in between. Didn’t get bored of it. Was also struck by how many punters either instantly recognised it, wanted to know what it was, or involuntarily grooved to it (a foot tap here, a little shimmy there…varying degrees of sass). There aren’t many records – especially ones of such restrained, unconfrontational, emollient character – that have that kind of instant and broad appeal. So yeah, I felt we might I well give it it’s a due, in case there’s any among you who don’t know it, or have never given it much attention.

It’s weird, the acceptable sound of deep house ossified so long ago that it’s easy to forget that it took ingenuity and and experimentation and inspiration to arrive at it, and that once, many years ago, that sound felt truly cutting edge. It’s also easy to forget what an absolute fucking DON Herbert was when he was making music for dancefloors and not for conceptual shits and giggles – or, more accurately, when the balance of function and conceptual shits and giggles was judged just right. He surely deserves as much credit as anyone for finessing the imported sound of Chicago and NY into the silken, unmistakeably Euro sound that still dominates the world of housey house today – and Christ, he does it with such CLASS. ‘Rude’ and ‘Ooh Licky’, which prop up the A-side of this nicely (as in handsomely but modestly) presented reissue of the Parts 1 12” (originally released on Phono in ’96), but I could never really get on with those vocal samples. Rivalled only by the surgical ruffness of ‘Take Me Back’, ‘See You Monday’ is unquestionably Herbert’s defining house moment: just divine, so stately and centered, a comedown track really, with an undertow of deep melancholy but fundamentally optimistic – even at my craggy basically-waiting-to-die age, I listen to this and feel an instant shedding of  dead weight, and see the future opening up in front of me. What a beautiful and unlikely gift that is. Cheers Herbert.  

£9.49