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Artist of the Week: The Herbaliser. London's sampling.


 The Herbaliser formed surrounded by London Acid House / Jazz in the 1992~1995ish. A distinct sound amongst it's fellow DJs as the band chose to instead travel the road of American Jazz, Funk, and old school Hip Hop stylings. The band's core members are Jake Wherry, a bassist and guitarist for several funk/rock bands growing up, and deejay Ollie Teeba. Jake grew up in South West London, as did Ollie. The two met at Wherry's Traintrax studio and after working together for a bit were signed to Coldcut's indie label, Ninja Tune.

After released EPs through 1994 the band completed their first LP in 1995, Remedies. Though the band heavily utilizes samples they actually tour with a seven piece live band including brass instruments as well as a live drummer in addition to the turntables. Not much of a surprise given the fact the role of Jake as a guitarist / bassist, rather than a dj.

In 1997 Herbaliser released their second LP, Blow Your Headphones. The album moved a bit away from the more heavily sample oriented style of Remedies and also heavily featured Jean Grae AKA What? What?. It's a bit more subdued for the most part. Definitely uses a bit more Jazz stuff, including a song that is basically a beatnik slam poetry song.

As Herbaliser grew they were able to bring in guest vocalists including fellow Londener Roots Manuva on their third LP, Very Mercenary, and underground, London born, New York raised rapper MF Doom on their 2002 LP, Something Wicked This Way Comes.

The group has performed many remixes for artists, including their label bosses Coldcut's song Atomic Moog, which reached #1 on the UK Charts.

Herbaliser has released two live albums, 2000's Studio 1, and the equally creatively titled Studio 2 in the year 2009.

In 2005 they released Take London. Again, this album heavily features Jean Grae, who, by this time, I think should be counted as one of the members. Throughout the entire run of the band, so far, Jean Grae has appeared on 10 different songs, enough to have an entire album compilation of just music featuring her.

If there was a hip hop soundtrack to Cowboy Bebop, I think Geddim' would be on it.

2008 had the release of their album Same as It Never Was. The title was likely inspired by the Talking Head's song "Once in a Lifetime" where David Byrne famously repeats "same as it ever was" over and over. It was their first album not released on Ninja Tune, instead they switched to the label !K7.

The band's most recent work is their 2012 album, There Were Seven, which was released on their own label. 2013 they released There Were Seven remix album on bandcamp.

Thought it'd be nice to throw in their Halloween video given the time of year.

The band does continue to tour, their tumblr having updated just last week with a picture of them at The Jazz Cafe.

I gotta disagree with the video, Wu-Tang ain't for children.

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About Khalid Eternal Nighone of us since 12:52 AM on 06.15.2015

Every time I think I know what I'm doing with my life, I forget.