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Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Dos Day 23
Wed. Feb 1 2012

Psyche (featuring Martina Topley-Bird)
Massive Attack
2010

“♫ I’m looking for you in the woods tonight, I’m looking/ looking for you in my flashlight, I’m searching/ from in the high or down the ocean/ and I face myself in reason […] ♫”

Psyche has to be one of the most uniquely created Massive Attack songs—I thought it was a keyboard sound repeating at the beginning of the song but it’s actually a really sped up sample of a classical guitar riff. Founding member of Massive Attack 3D explained: “Do you know what; I’m going to fast-track this. I’m going to get a classical album and then I’m going to make it jump and then I’m going to sample each jump.’ Then we just recorded guitar notes and layered them and played it to Martina. She fell in love with it and came back with these very bizarre lyrics.”

Last night, I couldn’t fall asleep. Sometimes my mind races as I’m trying to doze off I start contemplating my existence and sleepless time arrives again. That’s when I remembered the soothing sound from Psyche. It was Martina’s illuminating lyrics that gave me enough calming comfort to finally fell asleep, last night.

3D described his interpretation of Martina’s tripped out lyrics:
To me, the song is like when you close your eyes and you’ve got that strange shimmer of water or sunlight going through trees and it creates a strobing effect over your eyelids. You instantly get taken back to every single summer you’ve ever experienced, all in one collage. And you have that really weird sense of immortality, and then a deep melancholic sadness about things that are lost and things that haven’t happened yet […]”

Martina first got her start as a teenage chanteuse singing on Tricky’s Maxinquaye her lyrics are poetic, tenacious, sultry and vivid. 3D continues his animated analysis of Martina’s Psyche lyrics:
“[…] And that really weird bit in between where you don’t know how you’re ever going to capture that or keep it. But you know you can’t. And it’s that weird moment where you actually recognize – I know this sounds really profound – you recognize that everything will end, and for a brief moment you’re happy with it. You can deal with the fact this ain’t going to last forever, you know. Other times the idea can fill you full of dread, but sometimes, in those moments, you’re completely content with that being the case. And this song kinda gives me that sense.”

I must have replayed Psyche five times over, once I realized the acoustic guitar sound—on Psyche; That’s when Martina’s lyrics draw you in and you find yourself in a sonic wilderness illuminating and free. That’s why I worship Massive Attack —their trip-hop heady lyrical songs are like cinematic excerpts from a movie created from rhythms you experience from listening to their original music. What are you waiting for? Take this Massive Attack trip— Turn off your mind, relax and float down their soundtrack stream—you will thank me for this.

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