People who are familiar with Massive Attack and the band’s visual output will be well aware of the multiple talents of founding member Robert Del Naja, one of the creative hearts of the original Bristol Sound of the 80s and 90s.
His early creative endeavours started in 1983 with the hip-hop soundsystem crew The Wild Bunch, bringing together aspects of punk, reggae and R&B which later evolved into the musical flavours that launched Massive Attack and fellow Bristolians Tricky, Nellee Hooper (Soul II Soul), Portishead among others.
Graffiti was at the heart of the scene on the streets where this cultural vanguard spread it’s roots on this side of the Atlantic along with London, Birmingham, Manchester etc.
Known as a creative political figurehead of sorts, for this generation’s fight against the absurdities of war, human rights and the increasing loss of personal freedoms, 3D has hooked up with the likes of Radiohead’s Thom Yorke & Damon Albarn of Blur to put in motion events and causes that help readdress the misbalanced parts of society, something which is always evident in his song writing and musical performances.
Yorke and Del Maja have just collaborated on the score to a documentary by Mark Donne called ‘The UK Gold’, about the UK tax system run from The City in London.
Also this year Massive Attack announced a collaboration with Adam Curtis the well respected documentary maker, for the Manchester International Festival which should feature some awe inspiring on stage visuals, described by 3D himself as “a collective hallucination”.
Always up for a great collaboration his work in the past 10 years has featured on James Lavelle’s project Unkle, on each of their past 4 albums.
Here’s a recent video as part of his project Battle Box, bringing together music, art & limited edition vinyl releases in a wicked package. Vocals here courtesy of Elbow’s front man and all round top bloke Guy Garvey.
…and some idea of what to expect at the Fire Sale event itself…
I personally own an edition of his print entitled ‘In Europe’ but I dare not hang it on my walls in case my kids have nightmares, it’s daaark…