Trip-Hop Essentials

Trip-Hop Essentials

In the early '90s, an ambient, atmospheric sound began to emerge from rave culture's chill-out rooms and smoky club corners. This bass-driven blend of hip-hop-inflected breakbeats, jazz grooves, dubby tempos, Rhodes licks and wraithlike vocals spoke to both premillennial anxiety and escapist bliss. Trip-hop was largely British in origin; Bristol's shores in particular provided a backdrop for Portishead's eerie noir, Massive Attack's epic comedowns, and Tricky's murmured incantations. But the woozy deconstructions of Howie B and the baroque flourishes of Lamb and Goldfrapp pushed the genre beyond its ground zero—geographically and stylistically.

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