Matthew Herbert
One Pig


4.5
superb

Review

by Adash USER (43 Reviews)
October 20th, 2011 | 28 replies | 4,505 views


Release Date: 2011 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Let’s get straight to the point. This is music made of the pig, by the pig, for the pigs. As a documentary of gastronomic practices in the Western world, it is critical listening for those of you who eat. Significantly, it’s also really fucking good.

9 of 9 thought this review was well written

Criticisms that One Pig isn’t ‘music’ per se are inevitable. Although the album is at its strongest when myriad incongruous sounds merge together into disturbingly beautiful songs, the weight of the individual samples are what ultimately enable the construction of such a haunting and powerful aural edifice; it is precisely through the artistic combination of dichotomous sounds that a collection of seemingly banal farm yard noises are turned into a unforgettable elegy for a living, breathing creature. Samples are warped in every possible way; tractors and footsteps become pounding percussion, dripping blood and slashing knives morph into spine tingling melodies. At times it's all too easy to forget that the hideous yet gorgeous cacaphony emanating from your speakers is forged from live recordings rather than programmed sounds. Penultimate track August is perhaps the greatest testament to the skill of the composer; a soaring melody played on whining synths that wouldn’t feel out of place on a particularly dark and melancholy Zomby track. The brooding music becomes even more pertinent when one realizes that the melody is being played on an instrument filled with the blood of the aforementioned pig whilst the insistent beat hovering in the background like a spectre is being tapped out on a drum made of its own skin. The cumulative effect is so poignant as to be almost unbearable.

One is faced with the realization that such emotive music is, oddly enough, a silent and objective witness; in the absence of language morality as such cannot exist and thus it is left to the listener to pass judgement. If Herbert has something to say, he leaves it to the sounds he has recorded rather than attempting to force a preachy spoken moral down our throats along with a greasy bacon sandwich. In light of this, those tempted to treat this scornfully as yet another artistic attempt to highlight the evils of eating meat will find no leg to stand on here; One Pig is simply the life story of an anonymous farmyard beast told through music by a particularly talented and meticulous artist. Indubitably, the despairing squeals of a crippled piglet will invoke empathy, but if anything this only furthers what Herbert states to be the actual aim of the album; the revelation of the huge disconnect between what we do and the consequences of our actions. This album is undoubtedly the closest most people will ever come to their food, and as such it gains critical significance as a work of art documenting the stark and somewhat grim reality of the modern food industry.

Additionally and critically, the composition and instrumentation are of sufficient quality to be worthy of merit in their own right; Herbert has crafted a powerful and often mesmerizing masterpiece that shudders, groans and lurches along in doleful and measured abandon, an absurd funeral march gone completely off the rails. Regardless of the disturbing concept behind it, One Pig is a heart wrenching and brilliant piece of avant garde music. The fact that a living creature literally put its heart into the creative process simply makes it all the more enthralling. What more could you possibly ask of a work of art?

So that’ll do pig. That’ll do.



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user ratings (5)
Chart.
4.4
superb

Comments:Add a Comment 
Adash
October 20th 2011



1356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Felt compelled to do this. Astonishing stuff.

Listen here

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/musicblog/2011/oct/12/matthew-herbert-one-pig-album-stream

Apologies for any mistakes, wrote this in a massive rush before work

alachlahol
October 20th 2011



7471 Comments


youve heard this once

Adash
October 20th 2011



1356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Had it on repeat since yesterday...

alachlahol
October 20th 2011



7471 Comments


one man. one pig. one album. one listen.

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2011



30865 Comments


In light of this, those tempted to treat this scornfully as yet another artistic attempt to highlight the evils of eating meat will find no leg to stand on here


So that's where the pork chops came from

One Pigis simply the life story of an anonymous farmyard beast


Spacing

Digging: FaltyDL - In The Wild

pizzamachine
October 20th 2011



12571 Comments


Great review man, very professional.

LiquidVelvet
October 20th 2011



629 Comments


Don't get the 'you've heard this once' criticism, I've listened to this a half dozen times already. Really brilliant album, and a great review. Doesn't go as in-depth into the music as I'd like it to, but still a really good read.

balcaen
October 20th 2011



3183 Comments


to be honest, this might be the most interesting experimental albums that rely on field recordings that i've ever heard. and i expect every "experimental" album with weird samples to be really overdone and pretentious, but i actually WANT to listen to this.

Aids
Contributing Reviewer
October 20th 2011



23798 Comments


awesome review. i probably won't listen to this though.

great last line haha

one man. one pig. one album. one review. one pos.

foxblood
October 20th 2011



6797 Comments


so glad this got reviewed, great job. could possibly be a bit more in depth about the music itself though. and the processes he used to make the all the different sounds.

this album is oddly compelling. the way it chronicles a creature's life span from birth to being consumed is kind of intense

Adash
October 20th 2011



1356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I may come to add a few paragraphs in when I have time, in such a rush to bang this out I forgot about things like the actual music : ]

Much obliged for positive vibrations

kanecooper
October 20th 2011



630 Comments


don't mean to be a dick but I don't like the way this is written

Adash
October 20th 2011



1356 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I won't hold it against you. Vegetarian? : ]

kanecooper
October 20th 2011



630 Comments


you've used a lot of words that I like but it just doesn't read naturally. it kind of reads like a high school kids piece where he thinks because he's used 'big words'; what's been written is good. unfortunately these sentences don't read so good

'The cumulative effect is so poignant as to be almost unbearable.'

'The brooding music becomes even more pertinent one realizes that the melody is being played on an instrument filled with the blood of the aforementioned pig whilst the insistent beat hovering in the background like a spectre is being tapped out on a drum made of its own skin.'

just looks amateur, sorry kid


kanecooper
October 20th 2011



630 Comments


Also, definitely not vegetarian - BIG MEAT FAN

way too fussy to be veggie

foxblood
October 20th 2011



6797 Comments


"BIG MEAT FAN"

LOL

kanecooper
October 20th 2011



630 Comments


yes big meat in my gaper haw haw har

Manic_
October 20th 2011



447 Comments


just realized this is the same guy that made Bodily Functions, how does this compare?

edit: just saw the stream

Zettel
October 20th 2011



582 Comments


It is always nice to see an Adash review. I will check the stream later, you really piqued my curiosity.

kanecooper
October 21st 2011



630 Comments


*piqued



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