Matthew Herbert is one of those guys who's just too smart for music. Bright, well read and humorous, he seems somewhat out of place dripping dance-floor oddities onto wax. But this intelligence has attracted a similarly art-film following of fans who wait for new albums as if following the finals in a chess tournament. When it became apparent that he was giving up house music for big bands, Herbert closed an era of four-on-the-floor for the newer fields of live orchestration. In the hands of an artist who managed to make his kitchen appliances part of his stage act, the more than 20 musicians on "Goodbye Swingtime" capture Matthew's trademarked genre subversions perfectly. Girlfriend and vocalist Dana Scilano scantily murmurs some sexy rumbles onto soundtrackish scores; Arto Lindsay gives another deadpan delivery; and laptop savant Jamie Lidell croons some serious jazz vocals. A few laptop squiggles and wavering post-techno beats complete the formula.
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