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Doctor Rockit

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Biography

Although his methods may provoke more discussion than his music (at least among chin-stroke types and the British and American dance music presses), Doctor Rockit's Matthew Herbert is an experimentalist of a subtle stripe, combining his love for all styles of dance-based electronic music with a desire to push their modes of expression into new areas. Although Herbert studied music formally, much of his creative impetus has been provided by the compositional potential of digital sampling technology, which he liberally applies to genres such as house, electro, ambient, and techno, fashioning tracks of detail and originality from such mundane objects of everyday life as kitchen flatware, crockery, even his own body. Although the first of his tracks to be released on 12" came out through the Universal Language label associated with Global Communication, the Horn, and Herbert's own Wishmountain project, he's since released a flood of material on the Clear and Phono labels, as Doctor Rockit and Herbert, respectively. With Doctor Rockit, Herbert focuses on old- and new-school electro-funk and housed-up techno, fusing clangy, rattling beats with humorous melodies and left-field samples and vocal snippets. With his eponymous project, Herbert releases the unlikeliest of experimental house tracks, working within the genre's feel-good, four-on-the-floor arrangements while drastically tweaking its modus operandi. His signature approach has given post-rave house's stale comportment a badly needed shot in the arm, and has (somewhat inexplicably) been widely embraced among mainstream and underground house audiences alike. While continuing to record for both Clear and Phono, Herbert also applied his remixing skills to a number of notable artists, including friend Jonah Sharp of Spacetime Continuum (both on the latter's Remit Recaps remix LP and on his "Strange Attractor" 12" on Phono). After a 1996 full-length on Clear (The Music of Sound), Herbert returned to his Doctor Rockit guise in 2000 with Indoor Fireworks. [See Also: Herbert, Wishmountain] ~ Sean Cooper
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