A city vision born from darkness with references to a long line of classics, from Metropolis to Blade Runner. Massive Attack have pushed the boundaries in a number of areas and have always tried to reach beyond simply making music. This would usually also include political and social topics. We all very well remember their impressive live performances.
This new clip is a impressive flight-through a city, frozen in the moment of battle and disaster. It is a curious moment, developing along the camera path, despite being a framed moment in time. Director Eduard Salier is well known for his music videos and the long list of bands he worked with includes beside Massive Attack, Orishas and Air, or comercials for Nike or O2.
The city created also has references to Guernica, the famous Picasso Painting, depicting the Spanish Civil War. In this light I believe there is less litteral meaning to the animal featured in the clip and more a hint at the current war on urban streets in general. The urban battlefield is probably part of the Massiv Attack story since the beginning.
Image taken from massiveattackarea by Eduard Salier / Storie board for the video clip to Splitting the Atom by Massive Attack
Read the interview with the director Eduardo Salier at Pitchfork.