Personnel: Massive Attack (programming); Mad Professor (drums, percussion); Tracey Thorn, Nicolette, Horace Andy, Tricky (vocals); Chester Kamen (guitar); Craig Armstrong (piano, string arrangement); William The Conqueror (keyboards); Nolan Iril (drums, percussion); Rob Merrill (drums); Marius De Vries, Andy Wright, The Insects, Nick Warren (programming).
Although variously labeled as hip-hop, trip-hop and soul, the distinctive sound forged by Massive Attack often resembles a more innovative take on the lover's rock style of reggae that launched the careers of Caron Wheeler and Maxi Priest. (Massive Attack in turn put themselves on the map as a group with tunes voiced by old-time reggae crooner Horace Andy). Viewed in that light, it seems a natural decision for the group to invoke the time-honored Jamaican tradition of the dub album, a group of tracks (taken in this case from their critically acclaimed PROTECTION) reworked by a mixing board auteur like Mad Professor.
A second generation digital offspring of original dub pioneers like King Tubby and Lee "Scratch" Perry, the professor's concoctions bear only a distant relationship to the analog dub which emanated from Tubby's reel-to-reel and echo-chamber set-up. While spiritually akin to '70s dub, the sound here is transformed by Mad Prof's digital production values, the acid house aesthetics of 1990s London, and of course unmistakable Massive Attack elements--like the fragments of Tracey Thorn's torch song vocal that reverberate throughout.
What the critics say...
Rolling Stone (5/16/96, p.64) - 4 Stars - Excellent - "...The trio must have known something was off, because only months after releasing PROTECTION, it took the unprecedented step of having the dub icon Mad Professor do this remixed version of the album....The difference is astonishing..."
Spin (1/96, p.64) - Included on Spin's list of the "10 Best Albums You Didn't Hear In '95." - "...NO PROTECTION represents two of 1995's most underappreciated trends: dub's third coming, and musicians--from Jon Spencer to (soon) Yoko Ono--waving goodbye to the `integrity' of their product."
- Radiation Ruling The Nation (Protection)
- Bumper Ball Dub (Karmacoma)
- Trinity Dub (Three)
- Cool Monsoon (Weather Storm)
- Eternal Feedback (Sly)
- Moving Dub (Better Things)
- I Spy (Spying Glass)
- Backward Sucking (Heat Miser)
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