Boomkat Product Review:
Originally released back in 2001, "Bodily Functions" is one of Matthew Herbert's best-loved albums, assembled from sampled detritus and human sounds woven together by Dani Siciliano's smoove, jazzy vocals. Proper.
Before "Bodily Functions", Matthew Herbert had used household clatter to bring 1998's "Around the House" to life. But with this modern classic, he headed into more squeamish territory only moments after Matmos had used liposuction sounds to flesh out "A Chance to Cut is a Chance to Cure". But where Matmos's album was bold and sometimes impenetrable, to a casual listener, the tracks on "Bodily Functions" might sound just like smoky, jazzy house music. It's only when zoomed in that the coughs, groans and belches become obvious.
Two decades later, and Herbert's technique might not be anywhere near as novel as it was, but the album still sounds exemplary. Sampling is far more accessible than it's ever been, but it's not the methodology that makes "Bodily Functions" worth listening to, it's the songwriting. Dani Siciliano is the album's not-so-secret weapon, and her lyrics and vocal performance lift tracks like 'It's Only' and 'Suddenly' into hallowed territory.