From the origins of modern Bristol to their recent show in the city, this book retraces a journey into Massive Attack’s multicultural history, through music and art. Influenced by the underground reggae and punk scenes, the band members gave birth to a new form of sound, and one of the most exciting urban art movements in Europe, selling over 13 million albums and inspiring musicians and artists worldwide.
Known as a graffiti artist under the tag 3D, Robert Del Naja was the first of many underground writers. The book examines the rise of Bristol as a global capital of street art, spawning a scene that gave birth to the most famous and outrageous artist working today, Banksy.
3D joined Nellee Hopper, Milo Johnson and Grant Marshall in the seminal UK crew the Wild Bunch and they paved the way for a whole generation of bands from the South West and beyond. Forming Massive Attack in 1988, 3D, Grant (known as Daddy G) and Andrew Vowles (Mushroom) released in 1991 an unexpected, astonishing and acclaimed first album Blue Lines.
This book also explores the making of their following albums – Protection,
Mezzanine, 100th Window, Heligoland, as well as the band’s more recent EP’s and experiments in new technologies – artificial intelligence, DNA storage and data visualisation. The author explores the stories behind the political statements and the increasingly genre-defying shows, and looks at the whole scene that emerged in Bristol after Blue Lines.
Working with the likes of Tricky, Neneh Cherry, Shara Nelson, Horace Andy, Tracey Thorn, David Bowie, Elizabeth Fraser, Sinéad O’Connor, Damon Albarn, Mos Def, Young Fathers and Adam Curtis, Massive Attack have continuously reinvented themselves over this past three decades, maintaining a profound gaze on the world around them, in a uniquely diverse style.
The author interviewed friends and collaborators, as well as most of the major actors in the Bristol scene – from Tricky to members of the Pop Group, Portishead, and of course Massive Attack. Talking about their early influences as well as the meaning of their sonic, visual and social engagement, they deliver a unique story about music, art and social change.