The herbalizer

Approaching 20 years into their musical journey, The Herbaliser just keep getting bigger, stronger and better. It all began in the early 1990s when West London duo Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba discovered a shared passion for hip-hop, rare groove, funk and jazz. James Brown, DJ Premier, Lalo Schifrin, Pete Rock and David Axelrod were some of the heroes from their formative years.

Both avid vinyl collectors, Jake and Ollie began using the freshest sampling techniques, coupled with Jake’s musical knowhow from playing guitar and bass, to create the early demos for fledgling label Ninja Tune. These tracks formed the core of their first album, Remedies, released in 1995. It offered an emphatically London-centric take on funky beats packed with samples, scratches and chopped-up rhythms. It remains an influential underground classic from the urban flipside of the Britpop boom.

Fast forward to 2008 and The Herbaliser decided to delve back to their funk roots, crafting songs featuring singer Jessica Greenfield, resulting in Same As It Never Was. Glossy and gritty, organic and eclectic, Same As It Never Was was a timeless soul record for a scrambled musical era. However, Jake and Ollie soon realised that what they did best was based around a harder, darker sound.

2012 Saw the release of their seventh album, ‘There Were Seven’ 15 slabs of super heavy, psychedelic, beat-laden, post-hip-hop audio for your ears and mind, from the undulating wobbly dub “Welcome to Extravagance”, through the electronic takeover of “Mother Dove”, to the manic spitting flute funk of “Take ‘Em On” hitting you right in your boogie nerve. Featuring collaborations with George the Poet on “A Sad State of Affairs”, the whispering soulful vocalist Hannah Clive on “The Lost Boy”, and super MCs from across the Atlantic – Twin Peaks and Teenburger.

In 2016 The Herbaliser celebrate their 20th Anniversary.