On October 6 Massive Attack is set to release their first new material in three years, and it has been worth the wait. I was never a huge Massive Attack fan - although I can't say I ever spent any real time listening to them, so maybe it was just lack of exposure that led me to feel like I was listening to a band for the first time when I heard their new material - or perhaps they have progressed with their music and produced a finely polished product in their new EP Splitting The Atom.
With guest artists like Horace Andy, Tunde Adebimpe (TV On The Radio), Martina Topley-Bird, and Guy Garvey that album manages to pull many different voices into a solid and unified product that is like audio velvet - dark and textured to look at, but soft to the touch. Two of the tracks were also remixed, one by Van Rivers & The Subliminal Kid and one by Christoff Berg, and their work is really ingenious as the album is a single fluid and consistent work - a perfect mix that can be hard to achieve when so many collaborators are involved.
Splitting the Atom got me excited for the release of Massive Attack's next studio album - number 5 - which should come out in February of 2010 and involves many of the same collaborators that worked on the EP. Currently in the middle of their first full UK tour in three years and just having won the Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award, Massive Attack are poised for a strong re-emergence on the music scene, and the upcoming EP is an exciting peek at what is to come.
When it comes out on October 6 I recommend getting a copy, pouring a glass of red wine, running a nice hot bath, and falling into a beautiful and relaxed alternate universe as you listen to the four tracks top to bottom. It is a fantastic work.