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The ShortListen: Massive Attack (no. 240)

Who? Massive Attack

What’s the story? 26 years, 5 albums, and they've never let the quality drop. Massive Attack are certainly not the sort of band who rush things, so when they release, it's always worth paying attention. We're glad to report that their new EP, Ritual Spirit, the first new release since 2010's dense, difficult Heligoland, is a seriously strong collection to rank against anything from their glorious back catalogue. The four tracks all exhibit different qualities: Dead Editors is a bass heavy blast with a two-step garage feel with Roots Manuva exhibiting his usual flawless flow; Ritual Spirit is a beautiful track, featuring newcomer Azekel's haunting vocals; Voodoo in my Blood, featuring Young Fathers, is a glitchy, fascinating track, while closer Take It There - which features Tricky's first appearance with the band since 1994's Protection - is possibly the highlight: a brooding, majestic masterpiece. Stylistically, Ritual Spirit and Voodoo in my Blood recall the Eastern influences of Karmacoma and Inertia Creeps, Take It There owes a debt to OK Computer-era Radiohead, while Dead Editors takes its clues from the likes of Burial. Yet, of course, it all sounds like Massive Attack. Very much worth the wait: this is outstanding.

For fans of: Burial, Radiohead

In three words: A flawless return

Click here for more ShortListens

Listen to all of them as they become available, on this Spotify Playlist

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