The Herbaliser: Herbal Tonic (Best of)
Spanning a 15 year long career both on and post the London based Ninja Tune label, Herbal Tonic squeezes the funkiest, most soulful, jazziest hip-hop heads’ wet dreams into an hour of mind blowing tracks. Herbaliser is a two-man group out of London who have an ear for groovin’ underground hip-hop. They’re crate diggers extraordinaire and have an ability to wield together beats, loops, and underground talent like you wouldn’t believe.
Suffice to say; yeah I’m kinda a fan. But it’s hard not to be a lover of Herbal Tonic as it showcases the distilled talent of an act that’s been working hard since the mid-nineties. Furthermore, featuring hip-hop heavy weights before they were somebody, like Jean Grae, Roots Manuva, and MF Doom, it’s hard not to see how these blokes have got their collective fingers on the genre’s pulse. We’re talking about a group that is so badass that they collected actual musicians to play their compositions live. That’s right, jazz drummers, pianists, percussionists, and horn blowers who got together in studio and live to play alongside their turntable sets.
If you to pick any track off Herbal Tonic I guarantee you’ll be pleasantly surprised. It is simply the illest sampling of a multitude of interconnected genres that you could hope to harness. For the more discerning or inducted, I’d point you to “Stranded on Earth” and “March of the Dead Things,” both newer tracks, with the later being unreleased until now.
For any hip-hop heads who felt the turntablist movement of the nineties or even the newly inducted of the last decade, this act has the chops and hotness that will get anybody noddin’ to that beat. It’s very clear from beginning to end that Herbaliser loves this ish.