Matthew Herbert - There's You and There's Me

I don't post music on Anteism very often but I could not help but share this gem. This album is not just music. It's more than the sum of the notes you can hear in the recording. Matthew Herbert's album "There's You and There's Me" is so powerful because of the amazing connections between the music, location of recordings and what's happening behind the sound curtain.

"Matthew Herbert's dazzling new album There's Me and There's You is the most seductive, sophisticated and subversive collection of protest songs ever recorded. Blending lush jazz instrumentation, soulful vocals, fascinating rhythms and a secret underground arsenal of outlandish samples, it marks Herbert's second collaboration with his big band. Effortlessly wrapping deluxe avant-jazz arrangements around polemical lyrics and artfully selected noises, the album's dominant theme is power and its abuses in the 21st century. The album's dense mix of audacious samples includes the sound of 70 condoms being scraped along the floor of the British Museum, a match being struck in the House of Parliament, one of 100 nails being hammered into a coffin, vocals recorded at a landfill and a McDonald's, and 100 credit cards being cut up, among other things. Recorded with a vast community of musicians and participants, There's Me and Then There's You has a declaration on the cover signed by all parties involved: "We, the undersigned, believe that musical can still be a political force of note and not just the soundtrack to over-consumption.

The overall theme of There's Me, and There's You is the use and abuse of power in the 21st century, whether that power resides in the church ("Pontificate"), the media ("The Story"), greed ("Rich Man's Prayer"), monarchy ("Regina") or the various power sources affecting concerns such as climate change and consumerism. But these individual critiques are slyly pitched to insinuate themselves imperceptibly through arrangements echoing musical theatre, cartoon music and brassy jazz, in contrast to the hectoring tone which turns so many away from the standard folk-protest mode of political music."