Boomkat Product Review:
The fabled, previously unreleased Mad Professor dubs of ’Mezzanine’ land with finest style and keeling doses of nostalgia to mark the 20th anniversary of Massive Attack’s late ‘90s trip hop classic
Following in the vein of Mad Professor’s legendary ‘No Protection’ - his ’95 dub version of Massive Attack’s 2nd side ‘Protection’ - the echo chamber king radically reframes six cuts from the lustrous gothic dub of ‘Mezzanine’ in a purely smoked out style, alongside his re-do’s of the rarer ‘Wire’ and ’Superpredators’. For a generation who spent their formative years with ‘Mezzanine’ in the background, it’s a heavily satisfying bout of nostalgia as temporal sickness, pulling heads of an age back to a time that only seems like it was yesterday.
This pair of ears were probably starting to study for GCSEs when ‘Mezzanine’ dominated our late night listening in ’98 (off a Thai bootleg tape copy, lol), and while the album does feel a little cheesy when we return to it nowadays, it’s surely left an indelible mark on our listening life. Like many others, we were also enamoured with ‘No Protection’ back then, and always wondered what a proper dub gutting of ’Mezzanine’ might sound like, until now.
In key with the OG LP, the mood is arguably much starker and more gothic than the lush precedents set by Mad Professor’s ‘No Protection’. The likes of ‘Angel (Angel Dust)’ are huffed-up in a bittersweet bubbling style, and ‘Teardrop (Mazaruni Dub One)’ is eased off but still retains enough of Liz Fraser’s vocal and the harpsichord to send shivers down the spine. Likewise, the ‘Risingson (Setting Sun Dub Two)’ sounds achingly brilliant reset in a swarm of duppied FX, and ‘Group Four (Security Forces Dub)’ steps the finest line of paranoid pre-millennial tension.