Massive Attack is prepping a huge 20th anniversary rerelease of the band’s superb Mezzanine while setting sights on a world tour. For fans of trip-hop, this is welcoming news. But many mainstream music fans, they might’ve passed right over Massive Attack. After all, the band has only released one studio album in the last 15 years.
So if you’re new to Massive Attack, need a refresher, or just want to revel in their greatness, here is how Massive Attack carved a lane in music.
When it comes to combining genres, Massive Attack sets no limits. With elements of rap, reggae, rock, funk, sometimes its identifiable; but most of the time, it’s a homogenized blend that sounds like nothing else. There’s no template or formula, either. Each body of work stands on its own two legs. If Massive Attack were to release another album, there is no telling what direction it might go in.
The band’s entire discography is perfectly imperfect. Jagged edges, heaps of distortion, and plenty of right turns make for a rollercoaster of a listen. Discovering new pockets of sound is something any longtime MA fan can attest to.
These quips have bled into other artists–sometimes obvious, other times with more nuance. The murky bass lines of Radiohead, the exercise of space like the XX, the brooding hip-hop sounds embodied by Young Fathers, and more.
In a sea of cyborg-inspired noises, ear-shattering bass and pitch-altering vocals, Massive Attack never loses its heart.