Wednesday, February 7, 2001

Mistakes were made

Posted By on Wed, Feb 7, 2001 at 12:00 AM

I put on the CD and relaxed only to sit up panicked within seconds. Matthew Herbert (aka Wishmountain, Herbert, Radio Boy, Doctor Rockit) had just dropped a record by Lost Weight, which sampled the sound of my alarm clock.

I got over the initial shock and since then, Herbert has taught me to stop worrying and let “Alarmed,” the first of 21 tracks on this mix CD, get me out of the living bed called my life. And getting out of bed (and onto the dance floor) is exactly where Herbert’s desire lies. On Let’s All Make Mistakes, in the land of 76-minute continuous mixes, Herbert has filtered out the tasteful dead air of intelligent dance music (IDM) and found a place where he (we) can play.

And play he does: house, techno, IDM, dub, electro and even booty (“shake that shit to the left/shake that shit to the right”). Left to his dance floor devices and free to “make mistakes,” Herbert treats everything as fair game, pitching the seriousness of the Detroit underground (Dan Bell’s “Bleep,” Theo Parrish’s “Dusty Cabinets,” Richie Hawtin’s “Hypokondriak”), against the sexiness of Moloko’s “Sing It Back,” and the humor of his own hyper-farting bass lines in “Mistakes.”

Insistent without being pushy and far too fun to be just another armchair encounter, Herbert has done something truly special. By combining the electronic underground and its minimalist and off-kilter electronic dysfunction with the hip-jacking of house and dub, Herbert has created a record worthy of the no-knock policy of the funk-police and the intelligence of rewiring your mind. Time to fix your clock.

E-mail Carleton S. Gholz at


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