By Jeremy Hallock
By James Khubiar
By Observer Staff
By Kelly Dearmore
By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
3D (Robert Del Naja), Daddy G (Grant Marshall) and Mushroom (Andy Knowles), the core members of Massive Attack, have sure made their mark in popular music since budding off from Wild Bunch in 1988. These mixers, backed by an ensemble of guest vocalists, managed to set down a novel sound for the second half of the '90s. The sound—consisting of bluesy and nocturnal moods, dub and hip-hop stride and occasional rock intensity—was termed "trip-hop."
But that was just the beginning: With touchstone tracks like"Unfinished Sympathy" (a mix of urban beats and orchestra that likely influenced Moby's Play), "Teardrop" (the title theme to TV's House) and "Dissolved Girl" (the song coming out of Neo's headphones when mysterious green text tells him to wake up in The Matrix), the band's also made a decent mark on popular culture as a whole.
The direction of the band changed after Knowles quit in 1999, taking the hip-hop influences with him. Following 2003's 100th Window—basically a Del Naja solo effort in the duo's name—the future of Massive Attack was uncertain. News of new albums were taken with a grain of salt until delivery in 2010. The long-awaited Heligioland drops a bit of its previous dub character for a more mellow sound—not quite an "attack" any more—although listeners will likely appreciate the dancefloor finale, "Atlas Air".
Fellow trip-hop purveyors Thievery Corporation double-headline this bill.