“My Favorite Album” is a weekly column in which we ask a musician exactly what the title suggests — to name their favorite album of all time. This week, it's Jimmy Vallance of Canadian electronic duo Bob Moses, who play Coachella again this weekend.
A record that [bandmate] Tom [Howie] and I go back to time and time again is Massive Attack’s Mezzanine. It just celebrated its 20th anniversary but still sounds like it was made yesterday, or might even be coming out tomorrow.
Mezzanine combined electronic and rock influences in a way that hadn’t been done before. It’s dark, seductive and extremely dynamic. The low end really drives the record, which is an effect we’ve tried to replicate in our own music. The opening track, “Angel,” might be one of the best openings to an album … period. That one song touches on a lot of the sonic themes present throughout the record and beckons you to take a peek into the rabbit hole before taking the final leap.
You can’t talk about Mezzanine without mentioning its mega hit, “Teardrop,” arguably one of the coolest singles of the late '90s. With its drum loop that has been sampled countless times and haunting melodies, “Teardrop” would cement Massive Attack as an alternative-dance tour de force.
We loved the sound of Mezzanine so much that we asked Mark “Spike” Stent to mix our debut album, Days Gone By. During our sessions together, we would constantly ask him questions about the recording of the album. He said it was an extremely difficult record to make and that it went through many revisions. His stories were inspirational and only fed the intrigue and love we have for the record. Mezzanine is essential listening for any dance music producer or electronic music fan. It’s a timeless classic and has been a massive influence on us.