Nightports w/ Tom Herbert ‘Nightports W/ Tom Herbert’ (The Leaf Label)

Nightports is Adam Martin and Mark Slater’s collaborative project that seeks to push creative restrictions to the extreme – the Leeds duo produce entire albums from recording sessions of just one musician playing their instrument.

This third edition features Polar Bear bassist Tom Herbert, and will leave you scratching your head. How do the pair generate the industrial noise of ‘Hydrodynamica’, or the dreamy Nils Frahm-esque, neoclassical vibes of ‘Vacancy’, purely from the sound of Herbert plucking his double bass?

But the most stirring emotions are translated through more minimalist cuts. ‘Eye To Eye’ features Arthur Russell-like fragments, with a reverberating bass solo and cello-sounding swipes, while ‘Space Layer’ is like an electrified version of Moroccan Mahmoud Guinia’s spiritual Gnawa music. You fully understand what Herbert is alluding to when he says the album is “how I imagine I sound in my dreams”. Like all good concept albums, ‘Nightports w/ Tom Herbert’ eclipses the idea that birthed it.

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