Massive Attack fund study into the music industry’s carbon footprint

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Massive Attack fund study into the music industry’s carbon footprintMassive Attack Credit Josh Reynolds For Boston Globe

Touring has become the primary source of income for musicians in the internet age, and as a result, the industry’s carbon imprint has never been larger. Massive Attack now endeavor to find out exactly how extensive music’s impact is on the environment via a new study they’ve commissioned alongside the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. They expand on the research in their press statement, outlining their goal to “map thoroughly the carbon footprint of band tour cycles, and to present options that can be implemented quickly.”

Ultimately, the only way change for the better can happen is via systemic change within the music industry. Current efforts of re-forestation and carbon offsetting simply aren’t enough give current speeds of climate degradation, according to Massive Attack member Robert Del Naja, who detailed their path to launching the study in an extensive Guardian editorial. The band themselves have also toyed with quitting touring, but acknowledge that this would be a waste unless other performing artists did so en masse. That said, they recognize the difficulty to do so given touring’s economic power: “In a major employment industry with hundreds of acts, this isn’t about to happen.”

The study will be shared across all ends of the music industry—from agents, to promoters, to other artists—upon its completion.

H/T: The Guardian, Pitchfork

Photo credit: Josh Reynolds for Boston Globe

Massive Attack meld set list rarities with innovative covers on first stop of 20th anniversary ‘Mezzanine’ tour [Watch]

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Massive Attack meld set list rarities with innovative covers on first stop of 20th anniversary ‘Mezzanine’ tour [Watch]Massive Attack

Esteemed Bristol trip-hop trio Massive Attack descended upon Glasgow, Scotland to deliver the first live performance of their extended 20th anniversary tour, an effort that pays homage to the group’s cerebral LP, Mezzanine. Although Massive Attack’s Mezzanine-focused 2019 tour is inherently rear-view facing, as the live initiative commemorates the impact of the seminal production, Massive Attack’s first stop of the tour evidences the Mezzanine tour to be a tasteful amalgamation of the classic sound of the album and modern technical touches.

Falling under the umbrella of the technological updates that the tour will mesh with time-honored Mezzanine sound is a novel audiovisual production from Adam Curtis. Well known for his past documentarian work, Curtis describes the visual component as a representation “of the strange journey” that Curtis and the members of Massive Attack experienced in the time following Mezzanine’s release. “The show tells the story of…how we have moved into a strange backward-looking world, enclosed by machines that read our data and predict our every move, haunted by ghosts from the past,” Curtis said of his creative contribution.

The sonic aspect of the Mezzanine tour proves to be a tasteful throwback to some momentous musical collaborations and individual album cuts. Liz Fraser of Cocteau Twins notably appeared alongside Massive Attack during their introductory Glasgow show to perform “Black Milk,” “Teardrop,” and “Group Four.” With the mentality of “the more the merrier,” Massive Attack additionally invited reggae vocalist Horace Andy to join the Bristol outfit on stage for “Man Next Door” and “Angel,” as well as one of Andy’s originals, “See a Man’s Face.” Andy and Massive Attack’s live rendition of “See a Man’s Face” marked the first performance of the song since 1998. Massive Attack also pleased crowd members with “Exchange” and “Dissolved,” two of the group’s less common set inclusions. Massive Attack lent their own magic to other musicians’ work as they delivered covers of The Velvet Underground’s “I Found a Reason,” Pete Seeger’s “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” and The Cure’s “10:15 Saturday Night.”

Fan-recorded footage from the opening tour date only further illustrates the strength of Massive Attack’s first live impression on the Mezzanine tour, which will grow in potency with each ensuing date of the tour, spanning Europe and North America.

H/T: Consequence of Sound

Massive Attack bring on documentarian Adam Curtis for visuals on upcoming tour

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Massive Attack bring on documentarian Adam Curtis for visuals on upcoming tourMassive Attack

A group known for the atmospheric tunes and their seminal 1998 album Mezzanine, Massive Attack announced an anniversary tour for the project at the end of 2018. With the North American leg of the tour starting this March, the duo have shared that documentary film-maker Adam Curtis will be working with them in creating new visuals for the tour.

Curtis has been an esteemed documentarian for decades, having made eye-opening films about the intersection of psychology, philosophy, and politics. However, the Mezzanine tour is not the first time that Curtis and Massive Attack have worked together. Collaborating on an eight-day film festival, Curtis’s film, The Plan, was screened for audiences with music from Massive Attack interspersed throughout. Describing the tour as a “deconstruction of the entire album” and “not a greatest hit show,” the duo seem to be gearing up for a show that is surprising as it is exciting.


Aphex Twin and Massive Attack set to headline Mexico City’s Ceremonia Festival

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Aphex Twin and Massive Attack set to headline Mexico City’s Ceremonia FestivalAphe Twin Collapse Ep

A city with a vibrant music scene and appreciation of electronic music, Mexico City has become a hotspot for touring electronic artists in recent years. Returning for the 2019 iteration of the event, Mexico City’s Ceremonia Festival has announced an exceptional lineup including performances from Massive Attack, Aphex Twin, and more.

In addition to the exciting headliners, Ceremonia has brought an eclectic array of electronic and indie talent to their esteemed festival. Jon Hopkins, Kaytranada, DJ Koze, and Modeselektor will provide a day full of grooves, as rebellious Russian punk rockers Pussy Riot and the unbelievably funky Khruangbin will hold down the fort with live band performances. With acts crossover acts like Yaeji, Rosalía, Ambar Lucid, and serpentwithfeet rounding out the lineup, Ceremonia is bringing a variety of must-see talent to Mexico City this April.

Aphex Twin and Massive Attack set to headline Mexico City’s Ceremonia FestivalCeremonia Fest 2019 Lineup

H/T: Consequence of Sound

Massive Attack fans can now remix tracks off ‘Mezzanine,’ thanks to this interactive app

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Massive Attack fans can now remix tracks off ‘Mezzanine,’ thanks to this interactive appMassive Attack

Massive Attack listeners can re-envision the UK group’s celebrated album, Mezzanine, thanks to a new feature on Massive Attack’s Fantom phone application, which enables users to remix tracks from the seminal offering.

Fantom originally made its debut in 2016 as a “sensory music player that remixes and reforms songs unique using a variety of environmental variables including location, movement, time of day, heartbeat, and the integral moving image camera.” Massive Attack member Robert del Naja helped to design the novel application, which allows Fantom downloads to save and share their one-of-a-kind audio-visual creations on social networks and via SMS.

While Fantom is no longer the newbie on Apple’s app store, the application continues to roll out different features, including new “interactive remixes” of Mezzanine inclusions like “Angel” and “Inertia Creeps.” Massive Attack fans can queue up one of the Mezzanine album inclusions and record a video from within the application as the music adapts in “realtime” to what the listener does as the video records. Smiling or singing, for instance, causes the vocals of the chosen song to play, while a Fantom user’s movement of the phone “applies effects on the chords.” The result is an interactive remix of the Mezzanine constituent of the user’s choice. The Fantom application’s remix functionality represents one more eccentric way in which Massive Attack listeners can enjoy the music of the UK group’s iconic album. Massive Attack notably encoded Mezzanine into DNA to commemorate the production’s 20th anniversary and later followed the transcription with special edition cans of spray paint that contained 1 million copies of the album, respectively. Those interested can learn more about Fantom, here.

H/T: Mixmag

Massive Attack to embark on ‘Mezzanine’ 20th anniversary tour through Europe and North America

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Massive Attack to embark on ‘Mezzanine’ 20th anniversary tour through Europe and North AmericaMassive Attack 1

Twenty years post-Mezzanine, Massive Attack‘s discerning third album, the trip-hop troop decided to not only reissue the album in all its seductive glory, but to also launch a full-scale tour in accordance with the retrospective release.

The multi-continental tour will trace vital European markets through its opening leg in the first half of 2019, with the North American tour schedule, which the group announced will include stops in Chicago, New York, Boston, and Detroit, coming Nov 2. In a recent release, Massive Attack shared that the tour is slated to be entirely individual to the album anniversary, with “custom audio reconstructed from the original samples and influences.”

As with so many of their previous performances, Massive Attack will be bringing a series of collaborative support with them on the road, including Liz Fraser of the Cocteau Twins, who appeared on Mezzanine-housed “Teardrop.” The Bristol outfit previously announced they’ll be consigning the reissue to an audio-DNA-encoded can of spray paint, giving greater weight to the widespread theorizing that Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja, who carries a longstanding history as a graffiti-ist, is indeed the notoriously elusive street-artist, Banksy.

Massive Attack 2019 Tour Dates:
01/28 – Glasgow, UK @ SSE Hydro
01/29 – Manchester, UK @ Manchester Arena
01/31 – Brussels, BE @ Palais 12
02/01 – Amsterdam, NL @ AFAS Live
02/04 – Frankfurt, DE @ Jahrhunderthalle
02/05 – Munich, DE @ Zenith
02/06 – Milan, IT @ Mediolanum Forum
02/08 – Rome, IT @ Palalottomatica
02/09 – Padua, IT @ Kioene Arena
02/11 – Paris, FR @ Zenith
02/13 – Nantes, FR @ Zenith de Nantes Metropole
02/14 – Bordeaux, UK @ Bordeaux Metropole Arena
02/18 – Lisbon, PT @ Campo Pequeno
02/19 – London, UK @ O2 Arena
02/24 – Dublin, IE @ 3Arena
03/01 – Bristol, UK @ Steel Yard

Massive Attack to reissue 1998 album, ‘Mezzanine’

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Massive Attack to reissue 1998 album, ‘Mezzanine’Massive Attack

Massive Attack will reissue their seminal 1998 album, Mezzanine, in a double CD set in November, followed by a special edition box set of three colored vinyl one month later in December. Each remastered edition will feature exclusive and previously unreleased Mad Professor dub remixes, creating a novel listening experience, despite the record’s long venerated status. The three-part vinyl set will include an image book with pictures provided by Massive Attack members Robert Del Naja and Nick Knight, and will additionally arrive in a “heat sensitive box” that allows the sleeve color to change in response to different temperatures.

Massive Attack celebrated the iconic record’s 20th anniversary in April 2018 by encoding Mezzanine in DNA. The group stored the album in microscopic DNA strands that were then stored inside a total of 5,000 nano-sized glass spheres, preserved in water. Massive Attack’s encoding of Mezzanine marked an unprecedented first in the context of album storage.

Massive Attack to reissue 1998 album, ‘Mezzanine’Massive Attack Mezzanine Reissue Vinyl Bo Set Ptchfork

H/T: Pitchfork

Massive Attack cancel Mad Cool Festival performance over sound bleed issues

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Massive Attack cancel Mad Cool Festival performance over sound bleed issuesMassive Attack

UK electronic vets Massive Attack were slated to perform at Madrid’s Mad Cool Festival, though Robert Del Naja and Grant Marshall never wound up taking the stage, reportedly cancelling their set due to sound overlap issues with Franz Ferdinand. The Scottish indie rockers’ set was audible from The Loop stage, and despite festival organizers’ best efforts to quell the situation, the Mezzanine duo ultimately decided to scrap their scheduled performance. A statement from Mad Cool reads,

“Massive Attack has just canceled its Mad Cool Festival concert, scheduled to be held at The Loop, claiming that the sound of the stage where Franz Ferdinand was playing at the time would bother them during the performance of their show. The organizational team did everything possible to delay schedules of other bands and find a time slot where Massive Attack might be comfortable, but the unilateral decision of the band has been canceling their show. From Mad Cool, we sincerely apologize to all attendees for the inconvenience and possible heartbreak this may have caused.”

The trouble is, it reportedly took hours for the festival to report the cancellation to fans, many of which travelled to see Massive Attack, were understandably upset by the situation and the lack of communication from the festival.

Mad Cool Festival has already experienced a pretty tumultuous start to the weekend, with attendees flooding social media with reports of unmanageable lines, inadequate weather preparation, lack of crowd control, and more.

Coupled with Massive Attack’s cancellation, festival goers in Madrid are understandably frustrated by the weekend’s turnout thus far. Massive bummer, though not without with a silver lining — it sounds like at least Franz Ferdinand got to rock their socks off.

Massive Attack celebrate 20th anniversary of iconic ‘Mezzanine’ by encoding the album into DNA

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Legendary Bristol duo Massive Attack are bringing their music where it has never gone before. In fact, music has never been stored in such a way. Daddy G and 3D are encoding their seminal album Mezzanine in DNA to celebrate the iconic record’s 20th anniversary. Assisted by scientists at ETH Zurich, led by Professor Robert Grass, magnetic nanocarrier manufacturer Turbobeads, and US-based company CustomArray, the band actually managed to seal their most successful release to date into DNA molecules.

The microscopic DNA strands carrying the album are collectively stored inside 5,000 nano-sized glass spheres. Then the DNA is transferred to a small bottle filled with water, where it will be preserved. Professor Grass describes the unique storage process as a way to potentially “store music for hundred of thousands of years,” explaining,

“Compared to traditional data-storage systems, it is quite complex and expensive to store information on DNA. However, once information is stored on DNA, we can make millions of copies quickly and cost-effectively with minimal effort.”

An album was never been encoded into DNA before, though with methods of combining synthesized DNA with ink, and even now music, perhaps Mezzanine will be just the first of many classics to be commemorated in this way.