Info → Antistar
UK Release: 10th February 2003 (100th Window)
Track Duration: 08:17
Formats: CD, Vinyl, Digital. View Discography Entry.
Written By: Robert Del Naja and Neil Davidge
Produced By: Robert Del Naja and Neil Davidige
Probably the main inspiration behind the lyrical content of Antistar, came from 3D’s favorite book at the time, “Geek Love” by Katherine Dunn, which is a damning portrayal of the cult of celebrity in modern times.
The band booked time at Sony Studios in London, UK during June 2002 along with a 50 piece orchestra to record each string part as individual tracks. To achieve the Eastern-influenced feel that Massive Attack wanted, each discrete track had to be edited, and individual notes had to be pitch-bent to precise quarter tones – an exhausting process that Neil Davidge had to complete entirely by ear. To finish the song, Massive Attack used a simple breakbeat rhythm that was programmed with a Korg Electribe drum machine.
Was for a time considered to be released as a single along with a Shynola produced video, to be packaged as a double A-side single along with Butterfly Caught. 3D mentioned that his idea behind the never produced video for Antistar would have been a reenactment of a scene from his favourite book, “Geek Love” by Katherine Dunn which had helped inspire Antistar in the first place.
Of the many sounds which were created by Massive Attack (instead of using outside sample sources as on previous albums) that are sampled on Antistar, is one of 3D hitting a Coke can with a stick.
This “Antistar” bears no relation to the other unreleased and unheard Massive Attack track also called Antistar which was a product of the 2000/2001 LP4 recording sessions with Lupine Howl. Massive Attack liked the name but decided to dump the original song. This is quite similar to the naming process behind Aftersun.
Antistar was first played live at the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia on the 11th March 2003. It continued to be played throughout the entire duration of the 2003 tour. The violin sections of the song were played live on stage by violinist Lucy Wilkins.
It was brought back intermediately for the first half leg of the 2004 tour sans a dedicated violinist. Instead, the strings for the song came from a sampler. It was dropped however from the setlist after the Heitere Open Air Festival in Zofingen, Switzerland on the 13th August 2004 and has not been played since.
3D on the initial recording of Antistar – “We started to work on Antistar, the way we normally worked, which was to start with very simple ideas rather than a lot of ideas. We’d start with a couple of guitar parts with a beat put to it, sound waves or keyboard parts and then I started writing the vocals on top of it” [Remix Magazine – April 2003]
3D on the idea behind Antistar taken from the book “Geek Love” – “Arturo, he’s a fish boy who lives in a tank, who’s got no limbs. People come for miles to listen to him enraptured. To be part of him they start to cut off bits of their limbs. This surgeon sets up in the square so people can have their limbs removed. You get this level of disciples – the most minimal are the people who’ve just done a finger, who sit at the back. The most extreme, who’ve had all their limbs cut off, are swaddled in bandages and sit at the front, rocking around and listening to every word he says. To me it’s a perfect analogy for celebrity and religion. The cult of celebrity – people want to be stared at by the pop star like oxygen, like blood” [X-Rayed Magazine – May 2003]
Can you lick my wounds please? Can you make it numb? And kill the pain like cortizone? And grant me intimacy? How’ll we split your chromosomes? Yeah more sweet narcosis. Yeah more sweet narcosis. (I’ll turn a stone I’ll find you).Yeah more sweet narcosis. (I’ll turn a stone I’ll find you). I turn a stone I’ll find you there. Into reflected light I’ll stare. You blind me with flash bulbs. And puzzle me with syllables. Back to sleep. Yeah more sweet narcosis. (I’ll turn a stone I’ll find you). Yeah more sweet narcosis. (I’ll turn a stone I’ll find you). Yeah more sweet narcosis. (I’ll turn a stone I’ll find you). My heads between my knees again. Got the needle set to zero. And you can shoot me hurricanes. Don’t spare me the details. Yeah more sweet narcosis. (I’ll turn a stone I’ll find you). Yeah more sweet narcosis. (I’ll turn a stone I’ll find you). Yeah more sweet narcosis. Yeah more sweet… Yeah more sweet…Iconography fucks with me. You look great in bloodstains.