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|Cultural origins||c. late 1980s – early 1990s, Bristol, England|
Trip hop (sometimes used synonymously with "downtempo")is a musical genre that originated in the early 1990s in the United Kingdom, especially Bristol. It has been described as "a fusion of hip hop and electronica until neither genre is recognizable", and may incorporate a variety of styles, including funk, dub, soul, psychedelia, R&B, and house, as well as other forms of electronic music. Trip hop can be highly experimental.
Deriving from later idioms of acid house,the term was first used by the British music media to describe the more experimental variant of breakbeat emerging from the Bristol Sound scene in the early 1990s, which contained influences of soul, funk, and jazz. It was pioneered by acts like Massive Attack, Tricky, and Portishead. Trip hop achieved commercial success in the 1990s, and has been described as "Europe's alternative choice in the second half of the '90s."
Common musical aesthetics include a bass-heavy drumbeat,often providing the slowed down breakbeat samples similar to standard 1990s hip hop beats, giving the genre a more psychedelic and mainstream feel. Vocals in trip hop are oftentimes female and feature characteristics of various singing styles including R&B, jazz and rock. The female-dominant vocals of trip hop may be partially attributable to the influence of genres such as jazz and early R&B, in which female vocalists were more common. However, there are notable exceptions: Massive Attack and Groove Armada collaborated with male and female vocalists, Tricky often features vocally in his own productions along with Martina Topley-Bird, and Chris Corner provided vocals for later albums with Sneaker Pimps.
Trip hop is also known for its melancholic sound. This may be partly due to the fact that several acts were inspired by post-punk bands;Tricky and Massive Attack both covered and sampled songs of Siouxsie and the Banshees and The Cure. Tricky opened his second album Nearly God by a version of "Tattoo", a proto-trip-hop song of Siouxsie and the Banshees initially recorded in 1983.
Trip hop tracks often incorporate Rhodes pianos, saxophones, trumpets, and flutes, and may employ unconventional instruments such as the theremin and Mellotron. Trip hop differs from hip hop in theme and overall tone. Instead of gangsta rap with its hard-hitting lyrics, trip hop offers a more aural atmospherics influenced by experimental folk and rock acts of the seventies, such as John Martyn,combined with instrumental hip hop, turntable scratching, and breakbeat rhythms. Regarded in some ways as a 1990s update of fusion, trip hop may be said to "transcend" the hardcore rap styles and lyrics with atmospheric overtones to create a more mellow tempo.
The term "trip-hop" first appeared in print in June 1994.Andy Pemberton, a music journalist writing for Mixmag , used it to describe "In/Flux", a single by American producer DJ Shadow and UK act RPM, with the latter signed to Mo' Wax Records.
In Bristol, hip hop began to seep into the consciousness of a subculture already well-schooled in Jamaican forms of music. DJs, MCs, b-boys and graffiti artists grouped together into informal soundsystems.Like the pioneering Bronx crews of DJs Kool Herc, Afrika Bambataa and Grandmaster Flash, the soundsystems provided party music for public spaces, often in the economically deprived council estates from which some of their members originated. Bristol's soundsystem DJs, drawing heavily on Jamaican dub music, typically used a laid-back, slow and heavy drum beat ("down tempo").
Bristol's Wild Bunch crew became one of the soundsystems to put a local spin on the international phenomenon, helping to birth Bristol's signature sound of trip hop, often termed "the Bristol Sound".The Wild Bunch and its associates included at various times in its existence the MC Adrian "Tricky Kid" Thaws, the graffiti artist and lyricist Robert "3D" Del Naja, producer Jonny Dollar and the DJs Nellee Hooper, Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles and Grant "Daddy G" Marshall. As the hip hop scene matured in Bristol and musical trends evolved further toward acid jazz and house in the late 1980s, the golden era of the soundsystem began to end. The Wild Bunch signed a record deal and evolved into Massive Attack, a core collective of 3D, Mushroom and Daddy G, with significant contributions from Tricky Kid (soon shortened to Tricky), Dollar, and Hooper on production duties, along with a rotating cast of other vocalists.
Another influence came from Gary Clail's Tackhead soundsystem. Clail often worked with former The Pop Group singer Mark Stewart.The latter experimented with his band Mark Stewart & the Maffia, which consisted of New York session musicians Skip McDonald, Doug Wimbish, and Keith LeBlanc, who had been a part of the house band for the Sugarhill Records record label. Produced by Adrian Sherwood, the music combined hip hop with experimental rock and dub and sounded like a premature version of what later became trip hop. In 1993, Kirsty MacColl released "Angel", one of the first examples of the genre crossing over to pop, a hybrid that dominated the charts toward the end of the 1990s.
Massive Attack's first album Blue Lines was released in 1991 to huge success in the United Kingdom.Blue Lines was seen widely as the first major manifestation of a uniquely British hip hop movement, but the album's hit single "Unfinished Sympathy" and several other tracks, while their rhythms were largely sample-based, were not seen as hip hop songs in any conventional sense. Produced by Dollar, Shara Nelson (an R&B singer) featured on the orchestral "Unfinished", and Jamaican dance hall star Horace Andy provided vocals on several other tracks, as he would throughout Massive Attack's career. Massive Attack released their second album entitled Protection in 1994. Although Tricky stayed on in a lesser role, and Hooper again produced, the fertile dance music scene of the early 1990s had informed the record, and it was seen as an even more significant shift away from the Wild Bunch era.
In the June 1994 issue of UK magazine Mixmag , music journalist Andy Pemberton used the term trip hop to describe the hip hop instrumental "In/Flux", a 1993 single by San Francisco's DJ Shadow, and other similar tracks released on the Mo' Wax label and being played in London clubs at the time. "In/Flux", with its mixed up bpms, spoken word samples, strings, melodies, bizarre noises, prominent bass, and slow beats, gave the listener the impression they were on a musical trip, according to Pemberton.Soon, however, Massive Attack's dubby, jazzy, psychedelic, electronic textures, rooted in hip hop sampling technique but taking flight into many styles, were described by journalists as the template of the eponymous genre.
In 1993, Icelandic musician Björk released Debut , produced by Wild Bunch member Nellee Hooper.The album, although rooted in four-on-the-floor house music, contained elements of trip hop and is credited as one of the first albums to introduce electronic dance music into mainstream pop. She had been in contact with London's underground electronic music scene and was romantically involved with trip hop musician Tricky. Björk embraced trip hop even more with her 1995 album Post by collaborating with Tricky and Howie B. Homogenic , her 1997 album, has been described as a pinnacle of trip hop music.
1994 and 1995 saw trip hop near the peak of its popularity, with artists such as Howie B and Earthling making significant contributions. Ninja Tune, the independent record label founded by the Coldcut duo, would significantly influence the trip-hop sound in London and beyond with breakthrough artists DJ Food, 9 Lazy 9, Up, Bustle & Out, Funki Porcini and The Herbaliser, among others. The period also marked the debut of two acts who, along with Massive Attack, would define the Bristol scene for years to come.
In 1994 Portishead, a trio comprising singer Beth Gibbons, Geoff Barrow, and Adrian Utley, released their debut album Dummy . Their background differed from Massive Attack in many ways: one of Portishead's primary influences was 1960s and 1970s film soundtrack LPs.Nevertheless, Portishead shared the scratchy, jazz-sample-based aesthetic of early Massive Attack (whom Barrow had briefly worked with during the recording of Blue Lines), and the sullen, fragile vocals of Gibbons also brought them wide acclaim. In 1995, Dummy was awarded the Mercury Music Prize as the best British album of the year, giving trip-hop as a genre its greatest exposure yet. Portishead's music, seen as cutting edge in its film-noir feel and stylish, yet emotional appropriations of past sounds, was also widely imitated, causing the band to recoil from the trip-hop label they had inadvertently helped popularize.
Tricky also released his debut solo album Maxinquaye in 1995, to great critical acclaim. The album was produced largely in collaboration with Mark Saunders. Tricky employed whispered, often abstract stream-of-consciousness murmuring, remote from the gangsta-rap braggadocio of the mid-1990s US hip hop scene. Even more unusually, however, many of the solo songs on Maxinquaye featured little of Tricky's own voice: his then-lover, Martina Topley-Bird, sang them, including her reimagining of Public Enemy's militant 1988 rap "Black Steel in the Hour of Chaos", while other songs were male-female duets dealing with sex and love in oblique ways, over beds of sometimes dissonant samples. Within a year Tricky had released two more full-length albums which were considered even more challenging, without finding the same popularity as his Bristol contemporaries Massive Attack and Portishead.Through his brief collaborations with Björk, however, he also exerted influence closer to the pop and alternative rock mainstream, and he developed a large cult fan-base.
Musician Poe released her 1995 debut Hello , an album that featured trip-hop elements, to critical praise.
Although not as popular in the United States, bands like Portishead and Sneaker Pimps saw moderate airplay on alternative-rock stations across the country.
After the initial success of trip hop in the mid-1990s, "post-trip-hop"[ verification needed ] artists include Baby Fox, Bowery Electric, Esthero, Morcheeba, Sneaker Pimps, Anomie Belle, Alpha, Jaianto, Mudville and Cibo Matto and Lamb. These artists incorporated trip hop into other genres, including ambient, soul, IDM, industrial, dubstep, breakbeat, drum and bass, acid jazz, and new-age. The first printed use of the term "post-trip hop" was in an October 2002 article of The Independent , and was used to describe the band Second Person.
Trip hop has also influenced artists in other genres, including Gorillaz, Emancipator, Nine Inch Nails, Travis, Queens of the Stone Age, How to Destroy Angels, [ example's importance? ]Beth Orton, The Flaming Lips, Bitter:Sweet, Beck, and Deftones. Several tracks on Australian pop singer Kylie Minogue's 1997 album Impossible Princess also displayed a trip hop influence.
Various prominent artists and groups, such as Janet Jackson,Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Björk, and Radiohead, have also been influenced by the genre. Trip hop has spawned several subgenres, including illbient (dub-based trip hop which combines ambient and industrial hip hop).
Trip hop continued to influence notable artists in the 2000s. Norwegian avant-garde band Ulver incorporated trip hop in their ambient/electronic/jazzy album Perdition City . Atmospheric rock band Antimatter included some trip hop elements in their first two albums. Australian composer Rob Dougan proposed a mix of trip hop beats, orchestral music and electronics. RJD2 began his career as a DJ, but in 2001, began releasing albums under El-P's Def Jux Label.Zero 7's album Simple Things , and in particular, its lead single "Destiny", was regarded highly by underground listeners and achieved significant popularity. In 2006, Gotye debuted his second studio album, Like Drawing Blood . The songs on the album featured down-tempo hip-hop beats and dub style bass reminiscent of trip hop. Hip hop groups Zion I and the Dub Pistols also displayed heavy trip hop influence. Norwegian singer and songwriter Kate Havnevik is a classically trained musician, but also incorporates trip hop into her work.
Many producers who were not explicitly trip-hop artists also displayed its influence during the early 2000s. Daniel Nakamura, aka Dan The Automator, released two albums that were heavily inspired by trip hop. 2000 album Deltron 3030 , [ example's importance? ]was a concept album about a rapper, portrayed by Del Tha Funkee Homosapien, from the future. 2001 saw the release of his side project, Lovage. Music to Make Love to Your Old Lady By , with special guests Mike Patton, Prince Paul, Maseo, Damon Albarn, and Afrika Bambaataa. British producer Fatboy Slim's breakthrough album, Halfway Between the Gutter and the Stars , was his most commercially successful release.
Major notable releases include Massive Attack's Heligoland, their first studio album in seven years, and Dutch's A Bright Cold Day in 2010, which was met with positive reviews including a 7/10 score from inyourspeakers.com. The latter group consists of members including Jedi Mind Tricks producer Stoupe the Enemy of Mankind.
DJ Shadow's The Less You Know, the Better was released in 2011 after a highly publicised unveiling of songs, including appearances on Zane Lowe's BBC Radio 1 show and previews at a performance in Antwerp in August 2010.The album was met with "generally favorable reviews" on Metacritic, with some criticising Shadow's lack of originality. Sam Richards of NME felt that the album sounded "like the work of a man struggling to recall his motivations for making music in the first place."
Geoff Barrow's album titled ">>" was released in 2012 and received high scores from journalists, including an 8/10 from NME and Spin magazine.
Lana Del Rey released her second album, Born to Die in 2012, which contained a string of trip hop ballads.The album topped the charts in eleven countries, including Australia, France, Germany, and the United Kingdom; it has sold 3.4 million copies worldwide as of 2013 according to International Federation of the Phonographic Industry.
Adrian Nicholas Matthews Thaws, better known by his stage name Tricky, is an English record producer, rapper and actor. Born and raised in Bristol, he began his career as an early collaborator & best known as a founding member of the band Massive Attack alongside Robert Del Naja, Grant Marshall & Andrew Vowles. He embarked on a solo career with his debut album, Maxinquaye, in 1995, before rejoining the band in 2016. The release won Tricky popular acclaim and marked the beginning of a lengthy collaborative partnership with vocalist Martina Topley-Bird. He released four more studio albums before the end of the decade, including Pre-Millennium Tension and the pseudonymous Nearly God, both in 1996. He has gone on to release nine studio albums since 2000, most recently Fall to Pieces (2020).
Massive Attack are an English musical group formed in 1988 in Bristol, England, by Robert "3D" Del Naja, Adrian "Tricky" Thaws, Andrew "Mushroom" Vowles and Grant "Daddy G" Marshall. The band currently consists of Del Naja, Thaws and Marshall, with Shara Nelson and Horace Andy as guest vocalists.
Portishead are an English band formed in 1991 in Bristol. They are often considered one of the pioneers of trip hop music. The band is named after the nearby town of the same name, eight miles west of Bristol, along the coast. Portishead consists of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley, while sometimes citing a fourth member, Dave McDonald, an engineer on their first records.
Debut is the debut studio album by Icelandic recording artist Björk as an international singer, released in July 1993 by One Little Indian and Elektra Entertainment. It was produced by Björk and Nellee Hooper. It was Björk's first recording following the dissolution of her previous band, the Sugarcubes. The album departed from the rock style of her previous work and drew from an eclectic variety of styles, including electronic pop, house music, jazz and trip hop.
Blue Lines is the debut studio album by English electronic music group Massive Attack, released on 8 April 1991 by Wild Bunch and Virgin Records. A remastered version of the album was released on 19 November 2012.
Dummy is the debut studio album by English electronic band Portishead, released on 22 August 1994 by Go! Beat Records.
Homogenic is the third studio album by Icelandic recording artist Björk. It was released on 22 September 1997 in the United Kingdom by One Little Indian Records and in the United States by Elektra Entertainment. Produced by Björk, Mark Bell, Guy Sigsworth, Howie B, and Markus Dravs, the album marked a stylistic change to her artistry, focusing on similar-sounding music combining electronic beats and string instruments with songs in tribute to her native country Iceland. Homogenic was originally to be produced in her home in London, but was later recorded in Spain. It marked the first of several production collaborations between Björk and Mark Bell, whom she would cite as a major influence on her musical career.
Post is the second studio album by Icelandic recording artist Björk, released on 13 June 1995 in the United Kingdom by One Little Indian and in the United States by Elektra Entertainment. Whereas Björk's previous album Debut (1993) was produced almost entirely by Nellee Hooper, Björk produced Post herself with co-producers including Hooper, 808 State's Graham Massey, and former Massive Attack member Tricky.
Nellee Hooper is a British record producer, remixer and songwriter known for his work with many major recording artists beginning in the late 1980s. He also debuted as a motion picture music composer with Scottish composer Craig Armstrong and Marius De Vries for the soundtrack for Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet in 1996.
Histoire de Melody Nelson is a 1971 concept album by French songwriter Serge Gainsbourg. Produced by Jean-Claude Desmarty, the album was released on March 24, 1971 through Philips Records. The Lolita-esque pseudo-autobiographical plot of the album involves the middle-aged Gainsbourg unintentionally colliding his Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost into teenage girl Melody Nelson's bicycle, and the subsequent seduction and romance that ensues. Histoire de Melody Nelson is considered by many critics and fans to be Gainsbourg's most influential and accomplished work, as well as one of the greatest French-language albums in popular music.
Geoffrey Paul Barrow is an English music producer, composer, disc jockey, and is the instrumentalist for the band Portishead. Barrow is also a member of the band Beak and hip-hop supergroup Quakers, in addition to his work as a film score composer.
Maxinquaye is the debut album by English rapper and producer Tricky. It was released on 20 February 1995 by 4th & B'way Records. In the years leading up to the album, Tricky had grown frustrated with his limited role in the musical group Massive Attack and wanted to pursue an independent project. Shortly after, he discovered vocalist Martina Topley-Bird – who he felt would offer another dimension to his lyrics – and signed a solo contract with 4th & B'way Records in 1993. Tricky recorded Maxinquaye the following year, primarily at his home studio in London, and Topley-Bird served as the album's main vocalist, with Alison Goldfrapp, Ragga and Mark Stewart performing additional vocals.
Grantley Evan Marshall, also known by the stage name Daddy G, is a British DJ and a founding member of the band Massive Attack.
Marxman were a four-piece Marxist hip-hop group with two MCs formed in London in 1989. Their lyrics expounded communism and an end to economic and social injustice. They are one of only a few groups that combine hip-hop with traditional Irish compositions.
The Wild Bunch were a sound system and loose collective of musicians and DJs based in the St Paul's, Montpelier and Bishopston districts of Bristol, England.
The Bristol underground scene, refers to a cultural movement in Bristol beginning in the early 1980s. The scene was born out of a lack of mainstream clubs catering for the emergence of hip hop. Legendary street and underground parties were the mainstay of the people in the know. Crews formed playing hip hop in disused venues with sounds systems borrowed from the reggae scene. City Rockers, 2 Bad, 2 Tuff, KC Rock, UD4, FBI, Fresh 4, and of course Wild Bunch. These names were the precursors to the more well known names that came from this scene. It is characterized by a prominence of musicians and graffiti artists. The scene itself has drawn influence from the city's multiculturalism, political activism, and the arts movements of Punk, Reggae, Hip Hop, Hippies and New Age.
Björk Guðmundsdóttir is an Icelandic singer, songwriter, record producer, actress, and DJ. Over her four-decade career, she has developed an eclectic musical style that draws on a range of influences and genres spanning electronic, pop, experimental, trip hop, classical, and avant-garde music.
Jonathan Peter Sharp, better known by the pseudonym Jonny Dollar, was an English record producer and songwriter.
"Tattoo" is a song written by Siouxsie and the Banshees that was first released as the B-side of the "Dear Prudence" single in 1983. It was included on two compilations: 2004's Downside Up and 2015's Spellbound : The Collection.