On July 10, UK trip-hop giants Massive Attack shared their highly anticipated new project, Eutopia. The group has not released music in four years, though the venerated production outfit’s new EP could not have arrived at a more apropos moment.
The three-track audiovisual project tackles some of humanities most pressing collective issues, featuring a wide array of collaborators. Contributions from Young Fathers, Algiers, and Saul Williams, come packaged with the political voices of French economist Gabriel Zucman, the mind behind the “wealth tax” policy in America, Christiana Figueres, author of 2016’s UN Paris Climate Agreement, and universal basic income theorist Guy Standing. Inspired by Thomas More’s 16th century book Utopia and made in quarantine, Massive Attack had this to say in a press statement,
“Lockdown exposed the best aspects and worst flaws of humanity. That period of uncertainty and anxiety forced us to meditate on the obvious need to change the damaging systems we live by. By working with three experts, we’ve created a sonic and visual dialogue around these global, structural issues; taking the form of climate emergency, tax haven extraction and Universal Basic Income. The spirit of this EP, its elements, and ideas have nothing to do with naïve notions of an ideal, perfect world, and everything to do with the urgent and practical need to build something better. In this sense, ‘Eutopia’ is the opposite of a spelling mistake.”
Although Massive Attack have not released any music for quite some time, they have not been completely silent before Eutopia. In late 2018, the group reissued their seminal Mezzanine LP for the album’s 20th anniversary, with an ensuing tour in 2019. This year Massive Attack has been vocal regarding ongoing COVID-19 struggles and Black Lives Matter protests, donating more than $12,000 to frontline workers and supporting the removal of statues depicting historically racist individuals in their own hometown of Bristol.
Featured image: The Independent