Various Artists

Secondhand Sounds, Vols.1-2: Remixed by Herbert

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Review

Secondhand Sounds: Herbert Remixes is a double-disc, mostly unmixed retrospective of post-productions from Matthew "insert hilarious nickname here" Herbert, recorded between 1996 and 2001, giving fans the perfect choice to hear over two hours of mixes from the most inventive remixer active. As if that wasn't favor enough, Herbert's gracious enough to divide it in two: the second disc is the dance set here, while the first includes his more "difficult" impressions. Most of the highlights come from that second set, beginning with a pair of his "hits" -- "Can't Take It" by Recloose and "Sing It Back" by Moloko. The obscurities, however, are consistent standouts, with Louie Austen's "Hoping" proving that Herbert knows how to remix a pop song without removing the framework of a pop song. For better, but occasionally for worse, virtually all of these tracks are immediately recognizable as Herbert productions; the point-perfect beats, quick bassline fills, and his use of split-second samples and crackly vocals to drive the tracks sound more like a formula than a blueprint after several soundalikes come one after another. (Granted, these tracks were never meant to be heard in succession.) Also included are the obligatory Herbert remixes of his own (occasionally pseudonymous) productions, like Wishmountain's "Aerosoul" and Doctor Rockit's "Tape Measure." ~ John Bush, Rovi

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