Thom Yorke (Radiohead) & Robert Del Naja (Massive Attack) – The UK Gold Original Soundtrack

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It was announced a fair while back that two of Britain’s most elusive artists, Radiohead’s Thom Yorke, and Massive Attack’s Robert Del Naja would be coming together to craft a full length album; a soundtrack to the British film- The UK Gold. The UK Gold is a documentary by Mark Donne looking at the problem of tax evasion. So as you might expect, this isn’t exactly the cheeriest of projects, bringing a darker, sinister and more crafted side to both artists’ talents, the soundtrack is available to stream over on Soundcloud now.

The UK Gold Soundtrack is a gloomy, veiled piece of music that expertly coincides with the shady nature of tax evasion. Despite having the vocal talent of all artists on board, this project has no time for vocals, no time for anything that could be considered lifting; anything that a listener can latch onto as a glimmer of hope in such a harrowing piece of music. As well as Yorke and Del Naja, another maybe more surprising contributor to the project comes in the form of Elbow’s Guy Garvey. It’s also noticeable which tracks longtime Massive Attack-collaborator Euan Dickinson contributes to with elements of tune beginning to weave into the project, for example Battle Box and the following Passive Fist.

While dark and gloomy, the soundtrack does show how expertly crafted and layered the respective artists’ output is. The tracks on the LP go through an array of stages with instruments clambering over each other in a desperate attempt to reach the listener. Mission Creep is a welcomed midpoint blip of hope, one that my brain clung onto in a bid not to melt into depression following the haunting Evian Christ-style Pin Look Break Up, or the shadowed, chord-powered Embers.

With the make up the album taking a more profound steal from Massive Attack rather than Radiohead (Bull Market has a beat remarkably similar to Unfinished Sympathy) trip-hop, electronica and Yeezus-type production is the key. With flexes of both artists’ dips into electronic music, they feed off fellow pioneer Aphex Twin, as well as other more contemporary producers such as Koreless and Jacque Greene. While certainly not everybody’s cup of tea, The UK Gold Original Soundtrack is an admirable piece of music.

Verdict – WWWW

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