Song of the Day: Butterfly Caught by Massive Attack

Butterfly Caught” is a song on English trip hop collective Massive Attack’s fourth full-length album, 100th Window. It was released as the second single from this album on 16 June 2003. The song was written by Neil Davidge and Robert Del Naja, the latter of whom performs vocals on the song.

Lyrics:

Weightless falls honeysuckle
Strangers (strange this)
Lights from pages
Paper thin thing

Protected by the naked eye
Pearly sunrise

Nearly worn
Kneeling like a supplicant
Darkened skin
Afraid to see
Radiate
Open lips
Keep smiling for me
Darkened skin
Afraid to see
Radiate
Open lips
Keep smiling for me

Weightless cool honeysuckle
Fair skin freckles
Uncut teeth
Tranquill eyes
Bite my lips
Bite my lips
Shhh
Under your feet.

——

A video for the song was made, featuring Del Naja in a series of sequences where his body is transformed into that of a wingless, dead moth while a live moth flutters its wings in time to the lighting in the room, which themselves flash in time to the beat of the song. The video was directed by South African Daniel Levi.

Neil Davidige on how the bassline was created – “We pitched it [3D’s vocal] around, put it through Rectified and various other plug-ins to create that texture, and then edited that to create the bass line.” [Sound On Sound Magazine – April 2003]

3D on the violin in Butterfly Caught – “What I like about the violin in Butterfly Caught is that it is so non-definable; it sounds both oriental and western at the same time, as though it originated in Istanbul, when the Bosporus was still the limit between East and West.” [Humo Magazine – March 2003]

Variations/Remixes

Paul Daley Remix – This version was mixed by one half of the now defunct dance band Leftfield. Included on all the UK single and promo releases.

Paul Daley Dub – A instrumental dub mix of the original Paul Daley remix. Included only on the vinyl release (both retail and promo), with one exception being a very rare CD-R promo.

Paul Daley Beatless Remix – As the name implies, the same Paul Daley remix but without any beats over the vocals. Not included on any single release or any Massive Attack release either. Only found on a dance compilation called ‘Club Island Summer 2003′.

Octave One Remix – A deep dub remix by Detroit techno outfit, Octave One. Included on UK single and promo releases.

RJD2 Remix – A remix from the American hip hop producer, RJD2. Included on all single releases.

RJD2 Instrumental – An instrumental mix of the original Paul Daley remix exactly the same as the original remix sans vocals. Included only on the vinyl release (both retail and promo), with one exception being a very rare CD-R promo.

Jagz Kooner Remix – A remix from ex Sabres of Paradise and current member of The Aloof, Jagz Kooner. Included on all single releases.

Point Five – An alternative mix done by Alex Swift (who also helped in programming on 100th Window) on behalf of Massive Attack. Features no vocals over a stripped down beat with strings in the background. Possibly this version would have been included on the mooted 100th Window facsimile version that never materialized.

Massive Attack

Origin Bristol, United Kingdom
Genres Trip hop, alternative hip hop, experimental rock
Years active 1988–present
Labels Virgin / EMI
Associated acts Shara Nelson, Terry Callier, The Wild Bunch,Neneh Cherry, Tricky, Horace Andy, Neil Davidge, Portishead, Damon Albarn, Burial, Matt Schwartz[1]
Website massiveattack.com
Members Robert “3D” Del Naja (“D”)
Grant “Daddy G” Marshall (“G”)
Past members Andy “Mushroom” Vowles (“Mush”)
Adrian Thaws (“Tricky”)

image by *Alicechan

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