Over the last couple of years I’ve really started getting back into electronic music. Though I’m still a bit picky when it comes to which sub-genres I dig on more. Thankfully I found a band that has all the elements of what I like about electronic music. I’m referring to the band 8mm. Founded by famed producer and mixer Sean Beaven and his wife Juliette, 8mm has been steadily making a name for themselves. You might have even heard some of their music in films and TV shows like “Underworld: Awakening”, “Dirty Little Liars”, “Mistresses”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “Nip Tuck”, “Nikita”, “One Tree Hill”, “Shark”, “Cold Case”, “Moonlight”, “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” etc. 8mm is more than just great music for soundtracks, they have an element about them that stretches far past that. By combining trip hop, synth wave, and a little pop sensibilities, 8mm stands out among the rest. Their most recent release “Supercrush” has a very cool sexy dance vibe to it with some pop but it also has an edge to it that give it the toughness to be its own thing. Sean’s production work fits perfectly with the vibe of this band. There are certain moments that hark back to his days working with Marilyn Manson on Mechanical Animals. Juliette has a vocal style that is almost Manson-esque at times as well as a little Beth Gibbons from Portishead. 8mm is definitely a band that you should be blasting and having impromptu dance parties with.
I remember the day I bought Massive Attack’s Mezzanine very clearly. I was at Tower records and was browsing through the aisles and came across this very peculiar cover. It looked like one of the bugs from Starship Troopers. Needless to say, this made me curious as to what this could be. So I took it up to the counter and the guy working told me I made a wise choice. And what a choice I made. Mezzanine is an album that expands the dark undercurrents which had always been present in Massive Attack with textured and darker tones that features abstract and ambient sounds.Subtly drenched among the songs, lies deep influences of The Velvet Underground, The Cure and hints of John Bonham’s ferocious drumming. On an interesting note, and I think this helps to play into the darker vibe of the album, is that while making this album there was quite a lot of tension in the group causing one founding member to leave after the album was completed.
The album begins with a brilliant one, two, three, four, five punch of the songs “Angel,” “Risingson,” “Teardrop,” and “Inertia Creeps,” and “Exchange.” As the album moves on from that point it takes a step back into the darker corner. First with the dramatic “Dissolved Girl,” and then with “Man Next Door,” which features primitive beats, a catchy melody and soulful singing. As the album continues, the psychedelic atmospheric vibe continues to guide the songs through to the end.
There is something truly hypnotic about the way the album flows. Mezzanine is one of the best albums to come out in the last 20 years. It’s also an album that belongs in every music fans collection. So if it’s been a while or you’ve never heard Mezzanine, take the time to get acquainted with it, you’ll thank me later.
Massive Attack- Mezzanine: