TECHNOLOGIES

Massive Attack to record anniversary album on genetic code

Graphic by Bara Krautz
Graphic by Bara Krautz

Massive Attack is known for their innovative approach to producing and promoting music, and even their modern classic Mezzanine was the first album available for free streaming.

Now famous for their creative collaborations, they took their first massive step towards musical diversity with Mezzanine by using modern mixing technology and sampled pieces from different music genres.

Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser helped Massive Attack compose their hit single Teardrop which was famously used as the opening theme of the American medical drama series House:

The band's process according to Neil Davidge:

"We usually start with a few basic ideas — perhaps some rhythm patterns or a keyboard part or a bit of guitar — then we build on that melodically and sonically until we have created something we're all happy with. Take Mezzanine, for example; with that album we were literally re-writing songs while we were mixing it."

This year, marking the 20th anniversary of the release, Massive Attack announced the new edition of the album: Mezzanine is to be translated into genetic code and stored in DNA strands placed in tiny glass beads.

Scientists from Functional Materials Laboratory at Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich will do the encoding work. According to Professor Robert Grass, their encoding technique should ensure the album's DNA storage for “hundreds to thousands of years.”

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