8. Massive Attack : 'Collected' (1998)

I picked this compilation because it encompasses everything about Massive Attack. Along with Portishead, they typify what is known as the 'Bristol sound'. Working alongside co-producers, favoured session musicians and guest vocalists, the album 'Mezzanine' has been perhaps their most complete work and I could have chosen that, or maybe 'Blue Lines' - both are great - but overall what I admire about them is their general approach, making sure that all their records contain that spaciousness of sound, that special atmosphere which defines them. It's very recognisable and rooted in their dub and hip hop backgrounds.

With early tracks like 'Safe From Harm' and Unfinished Sympathy', the collective always tried to push the boundaries of 'popular' - but not exactly - 'pop' music. Take 'Teardrop' for example - which may seem like an obvious choice since it is possibly their most well known piece, but there is probably a reason for the song's popularity - in that it perfectly encapsulates what the group do best, creating instant simple atmospheres within an accessible format, somewhere between cool pop and sleazy hip hop. And when you add one of my all-time favourite voices - that of Elizabeth Fraser from the Cocteau Twins, you end up with a potent marriage. That particular song was accompanied by a memorable video directed by Walter Stern, of an animatronic singing fetus.

I guess the MA concept is one of the nearest to what I try and do with my own project, bringing in guest vocalists and making sure that the soundscapes are deep and dark.

01. Television : 'Marquee Moon' (1977)
02. Lou Reed : 'Berlin' (1973)
03. Public Image Ltd. : 'MetalBox' (1979)
04. Talk Talk : 'Spirit Of Eden' (1988)
05. Steve Reich : 'Reich: The Desert Music' (1997)
06. David Bowie : 'Aladdin Sane' (1973)
07. Radiohead : 'OK Computer' (1997)
08. Massive Attack : 'Collected' (1998)
09. Morrissey : 'You Are The Quarry' (2004)
10. Eno : 'Taking Tiger Mountain By Strategy' (1974)
11. The Beatles : 'The White album' (1968)
12. Górecki : 'Symphony #3, Op. 36' (1992)
13. Pink Floyd : 'Meddle' (1971)