Massive Attack Get With The 'Program'

Pioneering U.K. trip-hop act Massive Attack has tapped Sinead O'Connor to provide vocals for two tracks on the group's forthcoming album, the long-awaited follow-up to 1998's "Mezzanine" (Virgin).

Pioneering U.K. trip-hop act Massive Attack has tapped Sinead O'Connor to provide vocals for two tracks on the group's forthcoming album, the long-awaited follow-up to 1998's "Mezzanine" (Virgin). "We'd been talking about working with Sinead since before [1994's] 'Protection' came out ... she's a very cool person, very sound," group member Robert "3-D" Del Naja said on the group's official Web site. "We did a couple of days in London with her last year and then she came to Bristol for two more days in January."

The tracks O'Connor sings mark "quite a departure for her," Del Naja explained. "Everyone knows how great Sinead is as a singer but she's very versatile as well. She's done two very beautiful songs; one's very political, one more personal."

The as-yet-untitled album should be ready for mixing in June or July, with a planned autumn release, according to Del Naja, who also laid out the group's plans for "events-based" live shows in support of the project.

"This album has taken so many turns; it's gone round and round in circles," he said. "We started off with loads of samples, then went really live with it. Now we've reprogrammed the whole thing and it's very much more of a programmed feel. What we want to do is re-arrange it live on stage using computers while playing live, which is ambitious ... It will almost be like remixing the tracks live on stage as we play them."

"It's all coming full circle really," he continued. "The deck thing was part of our heritage, the sound system was the basis of our performance, and we then built a live show on the top of that. But what I don't think we've ever brought to the live arena is the studio aspect to it."

"Mezzanine" debuted at No. 60 on The Billboard 200 in May 1998 and has sold 370,000 copies in the U.S., according to SoundScan. The set included the single "Teardrop," which reached No. 10 on Billboard's Bubbling Under Hot 100 Singles tally. Massive Attack's collaboration with Mos Def on a cover of Bad Brains' punk classic "I Against I" will appear on the upcoming Immortal soundtrack to "Blade 2."