The Herbaliser

Something Wicked

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Colossal and cinematic, the fourth record from the Herbaliser is a timely achievement in music, a genre-bending statement of creative poignancy. Something Wicked This Way Comes is a quiet masterpiece, bringing together a tremendous cast of hip-hop elite and employing more of their own samples and live instrumentation than on their previous releases. The overwhelming credit throughout is how intentional the placement of samples, lyrics, and dynamics are, with the flow of the recording taking precedence over any one particular performance or section. This makes the appearances of Iriscience on "Verbal Anime," Wildflower on "Good Girl Gone Bad," Phi Life Cypher on "Distinguished Jamaican English," and MF Doom on "It Ain't Nuttin'" even more coveted. The instrumental tracks and their trip-hop meadows, acid jazz vamps, and spacy psychedelia make the ride rich and expansive, expounding on some of the same spy-theme sounds introduced on Very Mercenary. The result is once again a declaration of the the Herbaliser as innovators in the beat genre, and another pioneering feather in Ninja Tune's astonishing hat.

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