Matthew Herbert

Why do we need music any more? Why do we need songs about love? What is the purpose of music? These are some of the questions that producer, writer and pioneering electronic musician Matthew Herbert tries to address on his new record The Shakes. Herbert has always been an agent provocateur but you get the feeling that The Shakes is some kind of catharsis for him. “For me it’s the feeling and state of heightened emotion somewhere between excitement and fear”, he says. “When I started writing music, I did it because I could and 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. The Shakes is an attempt to find a middle ground between those two positions.”