DUBWISE VERSIONS OF MASSIVE ATTACK'S CLASSIC PROTECTION LP; THIS RE-VERSIONED EDITION IS A CLASSIC IN ITS OWN RIGHT. Not much that hasn’t already been said about this album, but as the story goes, Massive Attack were big fans of Mad Professor (née Neil Fraser) and his heavyweight UK dub label Ariwa Sounds and commissioned him to remix the title track from Protection. Impressed with the result (“Radiation Ruling The Nation”), the band had a vision for a full-length remix album with Fraser at the controls and the result is perhaps the most singularly unique project in either Mad Professor or Massive Attack’s high pedigree catalogs. The otherwise deeply soulful and jazz-inflected versions found on Protection are chewed up and spit out of Mad Professor’s mixing board, where jazzy bass licks become pressurized sub bass and the voices of Tracey Thorn, Horace Andy, Tricky and Nicolette are distant, echoing ghosts that rarely come up for air and vanish just as quick as they came. The album concept and bugged-out sleeve pay homage to the decades-old tradition of dub albums taking on new life from their rootsy vocal counterparts, in the tradition of classic dub albums by Scientist, Lee “Scratch” Perry, Jah Shaka and Mad Professor himself. No Protection was, for the longest time, Massive Attack’s hardest record to find, with used copies commonly fetching upwards of $100 online, but the repress gods heard our prayers and Virgin have blessed us with this brilliant reissue on vinyl for the first time since its original release in 1995. Recommended.
reviewed by peanut dust 01/2017