Release Date: Feb 25, 2014
Record label: The End
Genre(s): Electronic, Trip-Hop, Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Club/Dance, Indie Electronic
Producer, composer, and musician Neil Davidge was an integral part of Massive Attack's excellent album Mezzanine, he was the composer of the Halo 4 video game soundtrack, and he's remixed acts like Exposé and Rozzalla, all of which makes for an odd but apt setup for the sound of this solo debut, most attention being thrown at the first bit. Slo Light is cold and calm like much of the Bristol sound, plus it is often dressed up and dreamy enough to be of interest to most trip-hop fans, but when "Riot Pictures" enlists the great Sandie Shaw for a series of stinging putdowns and life lessons, all of them enveloped in lush strings, it takes the Portishead/Massive Attack/Tricky style of plaintive pop in a more Hollywood direction, even when Massive's Robert del Naja aka 3D gets a co-writing credit. Not very warm or cozy at all, "Zero One Zero" with Living Days vocalist Stephonik Youth sounds like Nine Inch Nails coming off a Gary Numan jones as paranoia and gothic grit pour out of the speakers, while the great "Gallant Foxes" with vocalist Cate Le Bon grooves like a miniature Kraftwerk piece with an elegant grand piano break in the middle.
Neil Davidge is probably best known for his role as producer and unofficial member of Massive Attack. Davidge helped direct his fellow Bristolians toward a heavier, more rock-influenced sound for their third album, Mezzanine (1998). The album was commercially successful and critically acclaimed, but not without a heavy cost. By the time the next Massive Attack album, 100th Window, appeared in 2003, two of the band’s three full-time members had departed.
Based on his groundbreaking production credits alone, Neil Davidge’s legacy was already firmly set within the lofty pantheon of those sonic architects who helped shape, influence, and impact the direction of modern music. His inventive production and songwriting work with Massive Attack over the past 15 years has brought him plenty of well-earned notoriety and acclaim, leading to high-profile work with David Bowie, Damon Albarn, Primal Scream, UNKLE, Elizabeth Fraser, Snoop Dogg, and others. Davidge has also crafted some indelible movie scores over the years (Danny the Dog, Battle in Seattle, and the Oscar-nominated Katrina documentary, Trouble the Water), and recently composed the soundtrack to Halo 4, bringing his distinctive sound to a new generation of fans who have yet to fall under the spell of Mezzanine.