Often mentioned as the inventor of trip-hop, Massive Attack blends reggae, hip-hop, soul, rock and touches of jazz into a unique cinematic sound using both electronics and traditional instruments. They return to Finland once again helmed by Robert “3-D” Del Naja and Grant “Daddy G” Marshall.
Massive Attack’s roots lie in a Bristol congregation of DJ’s and rappers known as the Wild Bunch. The band started with its current name in 1988 breaking through big time with the debut album Blue Lines. In the beginning there was a third main man Andrew “Mushroom” Vowles. He left in somewhat acrimonious circumstances after the third album, Mezzanine.
Massive Attack’s key idea has been to approach each album differently. They have constantly had guest singers and rappers like Shara Nelson, Tricky, Tracey Thorn, David Bowie, Sinead O’Connor, Madonna, Mos Def, Terry Callier, etc. Massive Attack is recognized by slow (rather than fast) bass heavy beats and a certain cinematically orientated urban gloom. 3-D has actually done soundtracks, too. He Jamaican reggae singer Horace Andy is the only vocalist heard on all six albums by Massive Attack. The new one, Heligoland, came out in the spring. The cinematic multi-level sound tends now more towards the organic, compared to the cold cybernetics of The 100th Window that was more like 3-D’s solo work. Elbow’s Guy Garvey, TV On The Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe and Mazzy Star’s Hope Sandoval share the vocal duties with Andy. Blur’s Damon Albarn also participates.