I’m well aware that today’s track came out as a single, but I don’t have that particular piece of vinyl. I do have, however, the 2013 repress of Mezzanine, and it’s from there that I’ve ripped today’s 320kpbs offering:-
Of the many thousands of albums I have on vinyl or CD, this is up there among my favourite of all opening tracks. Indeed, there are occasions when I think it might well be my very favourite, setting the perfect tone and mood for an album which astonished me on its release back in April 1998. I had enjoyed much of what Massive Attack had done up till that point in time, but the first two albums hadn’t quite fully hung together for me.
Mezzanine was a whole new ball game. It sounded like no other trip hop album (albeit my knowledge of the genre was limited), on which elements of the dark sides of earlier period new wave and alternative music were fused to a wholly modern production in which everyone involved seemed to want to scare the shit out of the listener. It is a very dark album, (I hesitate to us the word gothic, but……) with every note in some songs, such as Angel, seeming to warn of imminent danger.
And, as if to prove this very point, the music would be used to astonishing effect in series four of the TV series The West Wing, in 2003, when the character of Zoey Bartlett, the daughter of the President, is drugged and kidnapped while out with some friends in a Washington nightclub. Real edge of the seats stuff to deliver a cliffhanger into the next episode…as someone else has written elsewhere in a review of that episode, the visuals and the background music were equally creepy, tense and trippy.