Download of the Week: Massive Attack

We were listening to my gold vinyl limited edition copy of The Heliocentrics A World Of Masks at a Monkeyhaus recently and I was thinking, "Damn. This is one fine record. I wish I had more records like this." That thought didn't stay in the forefront for long and I went about my day-to-days. Then, just the other day, I was rummaging around my digital music collection and tapped "Play Now" on Massive Attack's Mezzanine and within a few seconds thought, "Damn! Here's one."

photo credit: Stephen Mejias

Released by Circa and Virgin Records in 1998, Mezzanine is a masterwork of trip-hop psych funk jazz that sounds as fresh today as a lot of today's music sounds stale. I dare say it sounds intensely groovy.

Undulating rhythms, big fat drippy bass lines, samples and synths, trippy lyrics and a long cast of supporting players including vocals from Elizabeth Fraser of ethereal Cocteau Twins fame, like A World Of Masks, Mezzanine 1 is an album to be taken in whole, one song leading, bleeding, into the next creating an hour+ of pure sonic honey.

Add Mezzanine to your music library today! Available from Tidal.

Listen here:

1. Roon reminded me that Portishead fits in here nicely as well

Bill Leebens's picture

One of my favorite albums to write by. It's a tricky thing, finding music that's propulsive,but can be listened to in the background....

Anton's picture

It's a damned near perfect creature.

I like to play 'Teardrop' on vinyl at shows and watch how people respond.

garysi's picture

I had forgotten just how good this record is. Back then I would play it constantly, thanks for the reminder. BTW, just bought into Roon and am loving it.

dmhenley's picture

I grabbed the double lp reissue of Mezzanine last month. Great record. Agree that Portishead's Dummy retains its intrigue too. I'd add Tricky's Maxinquaye to this list of mid/late 90's trip hop goodness.

jelly292's picture

Mezzanine represented the apotheosis of trip hop when it came out, but it remains one of music's great masterpieces today. Witness the various covers to some of its songs - Teardrop's piano arrangement by Brad Mehldau being one of my favorites. By the way, seeing Massive Attack live has been one of the greatest experiences, with the hypnotic music putting the audience in a trance.

tonyd's picture

The BBC used it as the theme for "Luther". Most memorable, especially Ruth Wilson's "Alice Morgan" character.

EliaGar's picture

I love this album; still sounds modern in many ways. Also some great songs for testing systems/speakers/headphones.

PaulW's picture

Mezzanine is one of my favorite albums. Another Massive Attack recommendation is Heligoland. It doesn't quite have the chops of Mezzanine, but definitely worth a listen.