Sunday, May 02, 2004

Doctor Rockit
The Vinyl Resting Place
Accidental Records

Forthcoming on

Having recorded under a number of pseudonyms including Radio Boy and Wishmountain, Matthew Herbert here retires the Doctor Rockit guise on his Accidental label. The Vinyl Resting Place is a presentation of long-unavailable tracks originally released in 1996 on the Clear imprint. In the mid-nineties, Clear was part of the movement away from club music and towards an electro/jazz hybrid, with the first release coming from soon-to-be luminaries Mark Prichard and Tom Middleton under their early Jedi Knights moniker. Knowing what we do now about Herbert’s socially/ politically charged themes, Doctor Rockit is important, as it provided the first nom de plume for these ideas to develop – the first being commentary on Rupert Murdoch and the global news industry. In addition, this release is a good overview of Herbert’s sampling and production techniques in their embryonic stages—and they still manage to upstage most releases in the genre today.

Cameras and Rocks shows the now familiar found samples used as rhythmic elements and 4/4 kick augmenting a jazzy keyboard line. Tape Measure expands into more midtempo breakbeats with ethereal tones punctuated by crunchy, menacing bass swells. On the flip, Hi-Speed Rockit is a the most cheeky offering on the release, with booty bass drums, simple, old-school hi-hats and a simple sample loop. How Do You Do is mid-nineties Mo' Wax -esque downtempo breaks distinguished by a warm synth line and the ever-engaging clicks, pops and hisses that Herbert has gone on to make a signature element of his sound. Finally, Runner on Hastings Beach is the most experimental offering: a gorgeous, richly textured ambient track.

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