London's Matthew Herbert is an anomaly in electronic music: while he got his start crafting Chicago-inspired house tracks for the more discerning ravers of the '90s, the bulk of his career has been defined by his conceptual bent and political activism. Herbert's music was always unconventional, but his move away from the dance-floor status quo came with his Personal Contract for the Composition of Music, a manifesto dictating the hows and whys behind his use of samplers and synthesizers. At heart an ethical approach in defiance of the increasing ease of electronic-music production, the P.C.C.O.M. led Herbert in a more activist direction as he began to move from the sounds of the personal (a beating heart or clattering toothbrush) to the political (an oil tank being filled, or a Big Mac thrown against a wall). Still, deep house and downtempo fans won't be thrown off by the intimacy of albums like Around the House or Bodily Functions. In addition to the side projects Doctor Rockit and Radioboy, Herbert also conducts the Herbert Big Band Orchestra, a modern-day take on the classic big bands of the '30s and '40s.