Info → Battle Box 001             

The front cover of the Battle Box 001 limited edition vinyl, with artwork by street artist, Paul Insect.

The front cover of the Battle Box 001 limited edition vinyl, with artwork by street artist, Paul Insect.

Development

UK Release: 12th December 2012

Track Duration: 05:11

Formats: Vinyl, Digital. View Discography Entry.

Written By: Robert Del Naja, Euan Dickinson and Guy Garvey

Produced By: Robert Del Naja and Euan Dickinson

Mixed By: Bruno Ellingham

Promo Video Directed By: Dusan Reljin

Video Producer: Dusan Reljin and Hilde Pettersen Reljin

Video Editor: Daniel Falcone

Video Duration: 05:11

Battle Box 001 was the first track released on the Battle Box record label (hence the name), a label set up by Massive Attack’s 3D in conjunction with The Vinyl Factory. The goal of the Battle Box label is to release new Massive Attack music on limited edition vinyl, in order to promote a series of one-off art events in the City of Bristol to be curated by 3D over a period of 18 months. More information about these events can be found in this blog post (as of writing, the Battle Box events in Bristol have yet to happen). Despite this, the vinyl releases from the Battle Box label have continued since, with the appropriately named Battle Box 002 (released in October 2013) and Battle Box 003 (released in March 2014).

Battle Box 001 is one of several songs Massive Attack collaborated with Guy Garvey on during the Heligoland recording sessions. The other songs (which we are aware of) being – Flat Of The BladeRed Light and Fatalism).

Behind the scenes, Battle Box 001 also featured Euan Dickinson as co-writer and producer alonsgide 3D. Euan who had previously worked with the band since 2006 as a engineer and programmer, had since the departure ofNeil Davidge from Massive Attack in 2010, become to fill his role as co-writer and producer more and more as evident by this track and several others produced in the recording period after Heligoland.

Additional Info

Guy Garvey, the lead singer of Manchester band Elbow, had previously featured on the Heligoland track, Flat Of The Blade.

Guy Garvey, the lead singer of Manchester band Elbow, had previously featured on the Heligoland track, Flat Of The Blade.

Battle Box 001 received its world premiere during the “6Mix”, a BBC6 radio programme, on the evening of the 11th November 2012. This particular airing of the 6Mix featured a 90 minute long DJ set assembled by 3D and Daddy G, and was done in order to promote the recent release of Blue Lines 2012. Here is a link to listen to the whole DJ set on Soundcloud (Battle Box 001 can be heard starting from 44:50).

The alternative title for Battle Box 001 is “Guy Fawkes”, which is evidenced by its usage as an alternative title onthe official Battle Box Soundcloud profile.

Battle Box 001 was first physically released in December 2012 as a white label 12″ vinyl produced by The Vinyl Factory. While this white label release was not a limited edition, the first 30 copies sold came with a hand etched design in biro and ink by 3D. In October 2013, Battle Box was reissued again on 12″ vinyl, but this time in a exclusive limited edition screen printed vinyl release, once again done by The Vinyl Factory. This particular edition was limited to only 300 copies and came with a front cover design by famous UK street/graffiti artist Paul Insect.

Live Appearances

Martina Topley-Bird performed live vocals on Battle Box 001 on the 2014 Massive Attack tour. Watch a live performance of Battle Box 001 from the 2014 tour.

Martina Topley-Bird performed live vocals on Battle Box 001 on the 2014 Massive Attack tour. Watch a live performance of Battle Box 001 from the 2014 tour.

Battle Box 001 was first played live at the Winter Palace of Sports in Sofia, Bulgaria on the 5th June 2014, which was the opening date of Massive Attack’s tour that year. It would continue to be played as the kickoff song at the beginning of each setlist on all 33 dates of the 2014 tour.

As Guy Garvey was not present for any of the live dates, when Battle Box 001 was performed Martina Topley-Bird would step in to perform the vocal duties for the track live. 3D would also do some backing vocals on the live performance as well.

Variations/Remixes

Guy Andrews Remix – Brighton based electronic producer Guy Andrews remixed Battle Box 001 for its first vinyl release in 2012 into a slowed down, less hectic version of the track. Massive Attack had earlier in 2012 posted a track of Guy Andrew’s on their Facebook page, perhaps signalling their intent to work with him in the future at the time.

Instrumental – An edited instrumental version of Battle Box 001 was used on the soundtrack to the 2013 documentary feature “The UK Gold”, an exploration of tax evasion in the city of London. The soundtrack (which was not released in full until February 2015) was a cross collaboration affair between Robert Del Naja and Euan Dickinson of Massive Attack and Thom Yorke of Radiohead. You can read more about this project in this blog post.

Lyrics

Brighton based electronic producer, Guy Andrews, remixed Battle Box 001 for its single release on vinyl.

Brighton based electronic producer, Guy Andrews, remixed Battle Box 001 for its single release on vinyl.

The promo video for Battle Box 001 received its world online premiere on the online culture magazine website Nowness.com on the 12th December 2012. The video was directed by fashion photographer Dusan Reljin and filmed using a phantom camera. The content of the video featured several slow motion composites of painted flowers being blown up, to create something reminiscent of animated Rorschach ink blot tests in the final video.

Promo Video

The promo video for Battle Box 001 received its world online premiere on the online culture magazine website Nowness.com on the 12th December 2012. The video was directed by fashion photographer Dusan Reljin and filmed using a phantom camera. The content of the video featured several slow motion composites of painted flowers being blown up, to create something reminiscent of animated Rorschach ink blot tests in the final video.

Quotes About The Video

Photo still from the Battle Box 001 promo video directed by fashion photographer Dusan Reljin and released online in December 2012.

Photo still from the Battle Box 001 promo video directed by fashion photographer Dusan Reljin and released online in December 2012.

Video Director Dusan Reljin on the video concept and working with 3D – “We used about 50 different types of roses. After dipping each one into liquid nitrogen we blew them up with dynamite and makeup powder. Some of them exploded really nicely and some of them were a complete disaster. Robert was starting to work on Battle Box, and at the same time we were experimenting with these images, trying to morph things. We started talking to him about the project and he responded well. We wanted a slightly gritty, home-made feeling to it. That’s the way 3D works with his music, too.” [Nowness Magazine – December 2012]

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