British trip hop veterans Massive Attack have ended their four-year silence with Eutopia, a politically engaged audiovisual EP released in the form of YouTube videos.
The three tracks on Eutopia were written and produced by Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja and Euan Dickinson. Sonically, they are collaborations with Algiers, Young Fathers and Saul Williams; visually, they were jointly crafted with documentary filmmaker Mark Donne, artificial intelligence artist Mario Klingemann and filmmaker Anthony Tombling Jr.
Each track zeroes in on the world’s fragility by recruiting an academic or expert to opine on a critical issue facing humanity today. The collaboration with Young Fathers gives a platform to Guy Standing, a professor at SOAS University of London and the co-founder of the Basic Income Earth Network. The song featuring Algiers mixes the production with a climate crisis speech from former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Christiana Figueres while generative visuals of skulls perpetually distort underneath. Saul Williams’ collaboration enlists academic Gabriel Zucman to explain how multinational companies engage in tax haven systems to the world’s detriment.
“Lockdown exposed the best aspects and worst flaws of humanity,” Massive Attack said in a press release. “That period of uncertainty and anxiety forced us to meditate on the obvious need to change the damaging systems we live by. By working with three experts, we’ve created a sonic and visual dialogue around these global, structural issues; taking the form of climate emergency, tax haven extraction and Universal Basic Income.”
“The spirit of this EP, its elements and ideas have nothing to do with naïve notions of an ideal, perfect world, and everything to do with the urgent & practical need to build something better. In this sense, Eutopia is the opposite of spelling mistake.”
Eutopia follows Massive Attack’s 2016 EP Ritual Spirit, which marked the group’s first collaboration with early Massive Attack member Tricky since their sophomore 1994 album Protection.
Take in Eutopia below.
Massive Attack x Young Fathers:
“Cristiana” featuring Algiers:
Massive Attack x Saul Williams: