Matthew Herbert’s intent is to galvanize with “The End of Silence, Part 1” a lengthy piece composed almost entirely out of a ten second clip of a bomb being dropped from an airplane in Libya. The “song” starts with the rummaged out sound of human life before moving into the strange cycles of a mechanical free fall. The track recycles some of the same melodic themes used on Herbert’s One One album, but here the tone is more bleak, more sinister, and the listener is more preoccupied with the event that will end the relative silence.
But there is no event, no ultimatum, and no definitive end to the silence. Only an eerie exploration of the strange, small mechanics that occur at the heart of every major, transformative event. “The End of Silence, Part 1” also exemplifies the way we can stretch out a moment indefinitely – like carrying the happiest moments of childhood into a bleak adult life; pushing against the occurrence of an event that we know we can never truly stop. You never really hear the bomb coming – Herbert’s hypnotic electronics teach you not to expect it – instead you get the small mechanisms of a deconstructed impact overlain with the last, fleeting glimpses of humanity. The human moments that lend a catastrophe its significance: a dog barking, people faintly chattering, rattling electronics that reek out like a calm desert breeze.
And then, of course, the explosions.