New Matthew Herbert Big Band – “The Story”

Longtime UK electronic sound sculptor, theorist, and manifesto writer Matthew Herbert, aka Herbert, etc., is returning at the end of the month with the Matthew Herbert Big Band’s collection of protest songs, There’s Me And There’s You (you could link it with Herbert’s 2001 album Goodbye Swingtime). If you’re unfamiliar, fans of Matmos, Max Tundra, and musique concrète (isn’t everyone?) should dig. To get a sense of the new collection, here’s the soulful, jazzy, headline-filled “The Story.” Herbert kindly listed the conceptual samples and passed along with a link to a site that compliments the track’s “Story” line:

100 70 copies of the sun newspaper. 100 70 celebrity gossip magazines. one copy of the nme. one madonna album. one copy of wallpaper magazine. one extra copy of the sun. metal pole installation thing at the top of the greater london assembly building. to read about under-reported and overlooked stories, visit

The vocalist is London-based Eska. Take a listen:

Matthew Herbert Big Band – “The Story (Edit)” (MP3)

Herbert explains:

That track is about the absence of anything of consequence in so much of our media. The absence of stories about Free Trade Agreements and their consequences in Rupert Murdoch owned press, for instance. Things that affect billions of people in tangible ways, and yet they are entirely absent. It’s just part of a collective failure of the imagination, and a determined and considered plan by corporate media companies for it to remain that way. That’s part of my responsibility as an artist, to try and reconnect those dots.

Other There’s Me And There’s You samples/concepts include:

70 condoms being scraped along the floor of the British Museum, a match (amongst other things) being struck in the Houses of Parliament, one of a 100 nails being hammered into a coffin, vocals recorded at a Kent landfill site, a Kensington branch of McDonalds, a “stop and search” document issued under the Prevention of Terrorism act, and 100 credit cards being cut up…

[“One Life”…] samples the incubator system which kept Herbert’s prematurely born son alive. Each beep represents 100 people killed in Iraq, from the start of the war in 2003 to October 2006.

There’s Me And There’s You is out 10/28 on !K7.

[Photo by Ali Mahdavi]