British house producer Matthew Herbert grew up the son of a BBC Radio engineer -- without a TV set, reared on music lessons that drew no canonical difference between Steve Reich's tape loops, Glenn Miller's big-band charts and Beethoven's symphonies. Melting nearly 2,000 musique-concrete samples under the un-divalike voice of chanteuse Dani Siciliano, around exquisitely arranged baroque instrumentation and over click-beats, "Bodily Functions" is as intimate as modern electronic music gets. If one can even call it that. It's more like a jazz album, at times harmonious and grooving, at others discordant and contrary -- like the relationships among bodies, souls and inanimate objects that give the record its musical and thematic core.
Siciliano interacts with the music as a scat singer does with a band, the samples ingratiating themselves into the lyrics. Her sampled voice turns "The Audience" into the ultimate high-IQ party anthem, modern technology melded with an unadulterated knowledge of smoky soul.