review_massive-attack

By Fact Magazine

01: DJ MILO / VA

THE WILD BUNCH – STORY OF A SOUNDSYSTEM

(STRUT, 2002)

OK, so this isn’t strictly a Massive Attack album, but if you want to get any real sense of the social and musical context that gave rise to that band, you need to pay it some mind. The Wild Bunch was basically a Bristol soundsystem that came to prominence in the late 80s, tearing up parties in St Pauls and beyond with their infectious, immediate and quietly radical fusion of reggae, hip-hop and soul: a fusion that Massive Attack would take to the next level a few years down the line.

The core members of Wild Bunch were Miles Johnson (AKA DJ Milo, compiler of this 2002 retrospective), Claude Williams (Willy Wee), Nellee Hooper and Grant “Daddy G’ Marshall, soon joined by Andrew ‘Mushroom’ Vowles and Robert ‘3D’ Del Naja. Very much pre-acid house, the parties the Wild Bunch played at and hosted were massively important to Bristol’s creative flowering and laid the foundations for the sound and aesthetic that would later be termed hip-hop. Though ecstasy and other drugs infiltrated the scene, it remained predominantly weed and booze-driven; accordingly, the wide range of music espoused by the soundsystem was united by its dub DNA: from the rolling, bass-heavy house of Mr Fingers’ ‘Can You Feel It’ to the electro-rap chop-up of Man Parrish’s ‘Hip Hop Be Bop’. [Read More]