The Herbaliser's newest album is appropriately titled Same As It Never Was. Upon a cursory listen, the album sounds like it could have easily been released in the mid-to-late '90s, when Ninja Tune was king and jazz/funk sample-based downtempo wasn't yet made yawnworthy by a crushing flood of "chill out" comps. Back then, the Herbaliser was ahead of the curve, particularly adept at choosing MC collaborators (they were working with Jean Grae before she was using the name).
But the new album isn't just some '90s act doing the same shit, different decade. It is the fruit of a long progression toward more live instrumentation. Rather than relying on their jazz/funk record collections, the Herbaliser started touring with live players, sampling their output for recordings, and have now made the full leap by inviting their longtime tour partners officially into the group. The resulting album is loose and funky as hell. This year has had no shortage of great summer albums, and this is another to add to that list—Nectar's patio will be a great spot to hear these tracks when the Herbaliser come into town for a DJ set.
Another guest from across the pond, Skream, is also making his first Seattle appearance this week, Wednesday night at Nectar. Yet another member of the UK dubstep Dream Team, Skream is an alum of the infamous Big Apple Records, one of the first spots to support the sound. That head start on the rest of the world placed him in prime position to be a pioneer of the form, but considering the rumored thousand(!) tracks he's got in various forms of completeness, it seems he would have ended up in that position regardless. Between his prolific nature and his busy remix schedule, expect to hear plenty of new material, and at proper chest-crushing volume, since Nectar can get away with it.
With fewer miles to travel, Trashy Trash is breaking out of its usual confines to take over this week's edition of Bonkers! at Re-bar. If heading out to Ballard on a Sunday hasn't appealed to you, this is your chance to get a taste of how the Trashy Trash crew is keeping Ballard weird (and lowbrow) through the mystical powers of bass. Between Mad Max, Same DNA, and Introcut's deep crates and Claude Balzac's electro, it'll be worth taking advantage of this chance to spend that gas money at the bar.
The Herbaliser play Sun Aug 3, Nectar, 9 pm–2 am, $10, 21+.
Skream plays Wed Aug 6, Nectar, 9 pm–2 am, $10, 21+.
Trashy Trash takes on Bonkers! Thurs July 31, Re-bar, 10 pm–2 am, $5, 21+.