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Massive Attack “Heligoland” Released!


Flat of the Blade promo video directed by Ewen Spencer

Heligoland is the fifth regular studio album from the collaborative British music production duo Massive Attack, entitled after the German archipelago of the same name. It had been officially released everywhere except North America by the 8 February 2010 (US and Canada on February 9 2010) – seven years after the release of their previous non-soundtrack, standalone studio album, 100th Window. The record features always-chosen guest singer, Horace Andy and the following other invited vocalists: Tunde Adebimpe, Damon Albarn, Hope Sandoval, Guy Garvey and Martina Topley-Bird, as well as guitar playing by Adrian Utley of Portishead (on "Saturday Come Slow"), keys from Portishead collaborator John Baggott (most notably on "Atlas Air"), keys and synth bass from Damon Albarn ("Splitting the Atom" and "Flat of the Blade" respectively), bass by Neil Davidge ("Girl I Love You") and bass by Billy Fuller of Beak on various tracks.

The record features drumming from the recently deceased Jerry Fuchs. This is in addition to the work of regular session and touring drummer Damon Reece. On the sleeve notes, long-time session guitar collaborator, Angelo Bruschini is only recognised for live work and appears to have no studio credit. Dan Brown and Stew Jackson (Robot Club) co-wrote "Paradise Circus", played guitar, programmed and engineered. Tim Goldsworthy contributed additional production (specific tracks remain unstated). Most tracks were mixed with Mark "Spike" Stent and then all were mastered with Tim Young at Metropolis Studios, as with previous records. Overall, Neil Davidge co-produced all Heligoland's tracks with Robert Del Naja only (except 3, 7 and 9 where Grant Marshall was involved), though Marshall has a co-write credit on every track. The album is dedicated to the memory of acclaimed Blue Lines co-producer, Jonny Dollar.

The Deluxe Edition of Heligoland available digitally features bonus tracks (remixes and "False Flags" B-side, "United Snakes"). There will also be a vinyl release. Heligoland Remixed (amounting to the same as the Deluxe Edition's bonus tracks, except for "United Snakes" being replaced by a second Gui Boratto dub remix) has been uploaded for listening on the duo's Facebook page.

The announced release date of May 2010 for the post-Heligoland EP intended to feature leftover tracks, including some songs known by the public from past tours having previously been performed live, such as "Dobro" and/or possibly (the Guy Garvey co-penned) "Red Light" (or whatever those tracks end up being called), as well as one or more unheard songs, such as the Martina Topley-Bird-sung "Invade Me", now appears to have been delayed to at least June or July 2010, according to Marshall. As was the case in 2009, the duo will have to interweave their touring and studio schedules to finish the planned EP.