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The Herbaliser

The Herbaliser are one of the more purely hip-hop-oriented acts on Ninja Tune's roster of sample-based pocket-funk. Combining deft midtempo beats, well-chosen jazz and funk figures, sparse scratching, and even the odd rap, Herbaliser bridge the gap between dusty B-side instrumental hip-hop and London's new school of psychotropic beat scientists. Formed by Ollie Teeba and Jake Wherry in the early '90s, Herbaliser, unlike many of London's abstract beat scene's acid house-steeped big-name artists, trace their roots to American jazz and funk (Roy Ayers, Johnny Pate, Ramsey Lewis), as well as old-school hip-hop (particularly of the New York variety -- Grandmixer D.ST, Sugarhill, Jungle Brothers). A bass player in acid jazz/funk group the Propheteers, Wherry met local DJ Teeba in South London, where they both lived. The pair assembled a few tracks in Wherry's tiny studio, which they subsequently passed to Ninja Tune bosses Matt Black and Jonathan More (aka Coldcut) in a club. The group were signed to the label shortly after.

Herbaliser released a few warmly received EPs on Ninja Tune in 1994 and 1995 (the hard-to-find Real Killer being the best) before dropping their debut LP, Remedies, which brought both the group and the then up-and-coming Ninja label much attention. While that album capitalized more directly on London's burgeoning underground breakbeat scene, freely mixing styles into a funky, sample-heavy amalgam closer to beat-heavy acid jazz, subsequent singles ("Flawed Hip-Hop," "New & Improved") subtracted the schmaltzier bits from the mix, focusing and expanding upon the group's hip-hop foundation. Blow Your Headphones, their second LP, presented a solid hour-plus of the same, simultaneously taking aim at U.K. trip-hop's tendency toward gimmick and noodle over depth and kick. Very Mercenary followed in 1999, bolstering the duo's hip-hop foundation, as did 2002's Something Wicked This Way Comes.

The group has provided remixes for artists including DJ Food, Raw Stylus, and label foremen Coldcut's "Atomic Moog," the last of which went to number one on the U.K. singles chart. Wherry has also released solo material through the Parisian Big Cheese label (under the name the Meateaters) and worked with the Propheteers. A touring act as well, Herbaliser have assembled a full-blown group -- sometimes dubbed the Herbaliser Band, unleashed as a recording project for 2000's Session 1 -- for live performances, with Wherry's bass and Teeba's turntable tricks supported by a three-piece horn section and live drums and percussion. That live act has gained more influence on the recording front, seen to small effect on Something Wicked This Way Comes but coming into full flower with 2005's Take London and 2008's Same as It Never Was. The 2009 live album Session 2 and the 2010 compilation Herbal Tonic both appeared before their seventh studio album, There Were Seven, landed in 2012. ~ Sean Cooper & John Bush, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

Comments

Hot damn. This is mad movin music!!!! Grab a partner.... Don't be shy... Just move it'll be a hot groove. Now a days I'm the creepy old guy but I would be swinging everything in a skirt to this. PURE DYNAMITE!
md.eric
everything on ninja tunes is pure dopeness. everything.
So cool
Wild style double trouble. B boy history. Great rhyme samples. Crazy track to let loose on. Respect.
Oooooooooook a y . . . . . . . . . . n e w 2 me.........I LIKE it!!! :-) but......... . U u u u h . . . . . . . . . W T F u n k is it doin on my BENT FABRIC RADIO??????? ? ? ? ? ? =-O
Herbaliser rocks !!! X
This track says featuring what what, the MC is Roots Manuva
Dope beat, love it!
Slick beat

MFDOOM FOR MOORISH AMERICAN PRESIDENT! #blessup
DOOM
Awesome beat
vm82
Elisabeth... J e a n Grae
I promoted herbaliser back on their 1st (only?) states tour with a live band, and had a great show... still diggin the beats they produce. Big up Jake & Ollie!
Close but this female emcee eludes me! sounds like Mecca/ Mystic/ style....who is she?
md.eric
every thing ninja tunes puts out is straight fiya
Damn, thats some nice sounds. Is that LadyBug?
Straight Hip Hop!
Hot
LOve the beat, good music to vibe off of. i will check for this
mf doom
mfgrim madlibs
jay dillia
roots
common
danger mouse....tru e hip hop
jamz13
The Herbaliser is one of the best music acts out of the 90's new brit invasions, and continues to deliver some of the most innovative/c r e a t i v e music today. Bringing together amazing jazz, big band, TV themes, and movie riffs, along with some of the best names in underground (and overground) rap/hip-hop, these guys are intelligent, funny, cool, and just down-right groovy. Forget all that fake R&B poser bling rap polluting the ameriKKKan airwaves. Get down with the Herbaliser.
I dig it. good sh*t, Are all the tunes instrumental s ?
they are dope on a similar level as madlib, but they were breaking ground on a world class scale while madlib was still stuck with the Lootpack (very good production, but just getting started as a producer in terms of his career)...ol l i e teeba never jacked madlib for ANYTHING! go do your homework if you need to be properly informed
this s**t is at dope as dope gets, every one of their albums has gems and yawns on it, buts its all new, progressive and did i mention seriously dope! been listening since blow your headphones and been making my mind right ever since with some pure moments of genius popping (and locking)thro u g h . some "underground " nyc area producers used to jack pieces of these guy's beats and try to pass it off, i've blown up 3 different people doing this (no names for their sake)
earlwiggs10
GREAT!!!
there the same person dumb a** just like mf doom,dangerd o o m , m a d v i l l i a n all the same guy
Is it me or is this madvillian? or r they biting off of madvillian?? ? Still dope
Totally awesome music, when I play these beats, most are baffled by what they are hearing, and further more to find out the group, and beats originated from Europe.I absolutely love "Senual Woman" (I'm not going to add any other information) . I'm really not surprised by the ignorance of my fellow country men, when they are exposed to something different. I will always be that outcast.
word
Cheesy Poofs2000... I think you mean Butterfly from Digable Planets. I don't know if it's her, but you're right: sounds like her.
is ladybug on bring it??....soun d s just like her
I love "Blow Your Headphones" and "Something Wicked This Way Comes", but "Take London" was rather disappointin g . Not to take away from any of their work though. These guys really know how to put it down for hip-hop!
design84
Sounds kick a** when im herbalized
i enjoy the herbaliser's music prfoundly
Ninja Tunes hunts in Austin in the mid 90's were the dayz! One of the top artist with Ninja for me was Herbaliser, classic and memorable. 94-96 were the best hip hop underground dayz, Herbaliser was that nice find during that time-I have all of the Ninja Tune collection.. . .
i njoy da fusion of sounds wit da smooth rhyme style...simp l y good musik...much luv!

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