Music » CD Reviews

The Herbaliser

Take London (Ninja Tune)

by

comment
You can mostly attribute the mod '60s, "Nancy Drew-theme-song" style of the Herbaliser's latest disc to the group's recording process. British DJs Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba composed original jazz licks for the album, blending clanky horn parts with elastic bass lines and reverbed electric strings. Then they sliced and diced those grooves in a sampler to make loops that sound cribbed from unknown acid-jazz bands or pulpy television theme songs.

Take London's most innovative track, "Generals," is a militant march punctuated by snare rolls and clamorous Sousa-style horns. Featuring Trap Clappa, Cheech Marina, Daddy Mills, AK, MacGuyver, and Jean Grae (but sounding as if it could be just Jean Grae, exhausting her repertoire of funny voices), the tune is too tweaked-out and strident to really please the ear. Even so, it still commands your attention. As a matter of fact, Grae is actually the best part of the album: Kicking down her verbal three-card monte on four tracks, this New York-raised femme fatale proves that, eight years after debuting as What What on the Herbaliser's 1997 joint Blow Your Headphones, she can still take London with flair.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club


Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.


Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.


Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.