Boomkat Product Review:
For his latest conceptual salvo, Matthew Herbert studies A Nude (The Perfect Body) in an artistic tradition extant for centuries, if not millennia prior, but never quite to this extent.
If sound art is possibly the newest area of artistic pursuit, then A Nude, which was created from recordings of a nude person locked in a room for 24 hours, including everything they do - from sleeping to eating, to wanking and shitting - is like a form of cave painting; a primal study on the body as crude as it is crucial and in many ways fundamental to our understanding of ourselves.
Recorded and pieced together in accordance with his Personal Contract For The Composition of Music [Incoporating the Manifesto of Mistakes], Herbert uses only live room recordings of his subject to paint eight scenarios, ranging from several minutes up to an hour, documenting in all-too-real detail exactly what all of us get up to daily.
The results, as you may imagine, are strangely hyperreal and intimately voyeuristic in a way that his Bodily Function album conceptually hinted at, yet never broached in any sort of detail quite like this. Without ever revealing the gender, age, or physical appearance of his subject (although you may have your own ideas by the album’s end), he holds up a sort of sonic black mirror that reflects our mutual silhouettes, opening an immersive space for meditation on our imperfections, bringing into focus the sounds we’d maybe rather ignore or which unsettle us when taken out of their usual context.