October 6, 2009
‘Splitting The Atom EP’
Music you can get lost in, Massive Attack’s stop gap EP (whilst we wait for their new album, ‘LP5′ to come out- mooted for next spring) ‘Splitting The Atom’ is one of the best releases of the year. Dark, phantom funk that sounds like nothing else on the planet this is one of Massive Attack’s greatest moments.
The title track is one of the best things the Bristol based collective have ever done- a dark, melancholic workout that retains the funk but creates a space for you to get lost in. In the last couple of years many bands have been acclaimed as the true representatives of whatever spirit there was of post punk but this is the purest expression of whatever was going around in that period. Massive Attack are the true descendants of that musical deconstruction- in their music you can can still feel the reverberations of Pil’s mighty ‘Metal Box, fellow Bristolians love of funk the Pop Group, the sombre dark melancholia of Joy Division, the Specials and the love of dub and reggae that came part and parcel of the punk rock experience.
They have melded these influences and carried on moving- mashing in funk, rap, underground rock with a punk spirit and made a music that is so utterly unique that you can’t place it. A very British experience- the sound of all those cool areas of cities were all the culture gets mixed up like nowhere else in the world Massive Attack are the perfect soundtrack.
They don’t even have their own definitive sound- they shape shift- utlilising whatever sounds good and create this massive rumbling atmosphere. ‘Splitting The Atom’ is a work of pure genius from the growling vocals on the verse to Horace Andy’s ever sweet crooning on the chorus. It deserves to be up there in the canyon of great pop records that switch your mood and take you to another place like ‘Strawberry Fields’ but will probably get nowhere near the cowardly playlists of mainstream grinning buffoon radio. I’ve played it five times in a row and I’m still finding parts of the song to get lost in.