This Friday belongs to the inspiring Herbert. He hasn’t always been known as Herbert. He began under that name but became better known under his full name Matthew Herbert in a period that saw him move away from the deep house sound he first traded in towards more column-inch-grabbing concept albums such as 2005’s Plat du Jour. Wholly comprised of samples recorded by Herbert of various aspects of food production, Plat du Jourwas a defining record for the artist in the manner it made his political and social concerns more explicit, all done while maintaining the funk.
And while the ideas and concepts underpinning these records were dazzling it’s not as if this was new to Herbert. From pretty much the get go Herbert was constructing his tracks through highly imaginative field recording and sample manipulation. 2013’s The End of Silence, for example, was composed entirely from a five-second audio recording taken from the battle of Ras Lanuf in Libya. In Herbert’s world one doesn’t need a guitar or synthesiser to make music. “We can now make music out of socks, and Australia, and peacocks,” he has said.
But although his concept albums have generated a lot of interest, his daring approach to sound and sampling has been there from the beginning and has featured on labels like Back To Basics, !K7 and even Tresor. As a DJ who has played Sir Henry’s back in the ’90s, Herbert can be trusted to deliver at Trabolgan.
Saturday features taste-making DJ Gilles Peterson. Perhaps best known now as a BBC 6Music DJ, Peterson was central to the whole acid jazz explosion in the early ’90s thanks to his Talkin Loud & Saying Something club night in Camden’s Dingwalls club in the late ’80s where he spun a mix of jazz, funk, soul and hip-hop. In 1987 he founded the Acid Jazz label with Eddie Piller, which broke acts like The Brand New Heavies and Jamiroquai. He left in 1989 and founded Talkin’ Loud Records. With the assistance of DJ Norman Jay on A&R duties, Talkin’ Loud showed itself to have immediate street cred through a roster that not just represented the acid jazz sound but also had an ear for current UK trends in hip-hop, leftfield jazz and drum ‘n’ bass through artists like Young Disciples, Marxman, Courtney Pine and Roni Size.
The ’90s saw him play at Kiss 100 FM and from 1998 to 2012 he presented Worldwide on BBC. Over the years he has been a huge champion of Latin and Brazilian music as well as Afrobeat.
Also playing that evening, from Kingston, Jamaica, is pioneering dancehall DJ Sister Nancy, who is best known for the infectious Bam Bam.
On Sunday the legendary Don Letts bings the punky reggae party. A key figure in the punk era, Letts also documented the scene as a filmmaker. On Sunday night jazzy trip-hop outfit The Herbaliser will bring the weekend to a chilled conclusion. Centred around Jake Wherry and Ollie Teeba, The Herbaliser were for many years mainstays of the Ninja Tune label.
It Takes A Village Festival runs from (tomorrow) Friday (10th) to Sunday (12th) at Trabolgan Holiday Village. Limited number of tickets available. Check ittakesavillage.fm. Over 21s.