Album Review: Massive Attack - Ritual Spirit

8 February 2016 | 2:34 pm | James d'Apice

"Massive Attack have embraced nostalgia earnestly."

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Normally nostalgia is silly — an ironic smile back at a simpler time of baggy shorts and trucker hats.

But with Ritual Spirit, Massive Attack have embraced nostalgia earnestly. There's not a joke in sight. The unkind might say they have no choice but to dwell in the past: no spring chickens themselves, our hosts have jumped into bed with proper veterans Roots Manuva and Tricky. The result is a woozy affair. With buzzy distortion and trip hop tones it could easily have been written 20 years ago. The EP's apex is Voodoo In My Blood where the old intersects with the new (Young Fathers). The result is alchemical: a hypnotic piece that belongs somewhere between the past and the present. The spirits evoked here are nostalgic, sure, but all the better for it.