Boomkat Product Review:
By this stage we're all used to Matthew Herbert using sampling to illustrate uncomfortable truths, but his latest full-length effort, The End Of Silence, is by some distance the most harrowing example of his practice to date, and certainly one of the best. Divided into three long pieces, every sound on the album is derived from a 10-second recording of war photographer Sebastian Meyer being bombed by Libyan airforces in 2011; as Herbert puts it, it forces you to "live inside" this atrocity rather than passively observe it, and on top of that poses some very tough questions about art as entertainment, the moral duty of the artist, and so on. Don't get us wrong, there's nothing entertaining about this record, but it's certainly edifying: Herbert's music has never sounded this violent or degraded, its blasts of molten noise, static, disturbed drones and eerie, primitivist minimalism variously recalling Merzbow, Prurient, Ryoji Ikeda, Kevin Drumm and Throbbing Gristle (we're some way from 'Cafe De Flore'). The scarce passages of tenable melody or accessible rhythm are actually the most unpleasant, it being impossible to mentally separate them from their sickening source; but then so deft is Herbert at creating new, unrecognisable sounds out of those dreadful 10 seconds, that it is possible to lose yourself in it for a few minutes - only to be brought back to the full horror of it by his sudden deployment of that untreated, unmistakeable sound of the bomb making contact with its target. It's hard to recommend a record this upsetting, but make no mistake, it's a major achievement; Herbert has finally stopped p***ing about and created a work whose political power isn't compromised by conceptual cuteness.