One One is a solo effort in the most extreme sense of the word: it features absolutely no musicians other than Matthew Herbert, meaning that the English producer performed and recorded every sound on the record, and in doing so had to teach himself a number of new instruments. The project also forced Herbert to make his debut as a vocalist, which he says made the recording process especially harrowing.
"Singing for the record was surprisingly difficult," says Herbert. "There was no one there to tell me if I was terrible, and if I was terrible I had to fix it myself. I couldn't hide behind nifty production tricks. At times it took dressing in a black tuxedo and half a bottle of wine to get over the nerves."
One One was recorded entirely at Herbert's private studio in the town of Whistable, Kent, and will be released on his own label, Accidental. Over the course of its ten tracks, the album tells the story of a single day in one man's life.
The second two parts of Herbert's One trilogy promise to be equally as avant-garde. One Club, due for release this summer, consists exclusively of crowd noises from Robert Johnson in Frankfurt. Herbert rigged the club with mics one night last September, and for two hours recorded the audience talking, laughing, and deliberately making funny noises. One Club uses these recordings exclusively as source material.
The trilogy will conclude in late 2010 with One Pig, an album that traces the life and death of a single pig. Every stage of the animal's life is accounted for, from birth, to slaughter, and finally to being served as pork. When asked about the project, Herbert commented, "Pigs are animals which humans totally rely on in many different ways, yet systematically abuse, so I felt this would be an excellent representation of a modern life."
06. Palm Springs