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  • JAN 1, 1994
  • 11 Songs

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About Portishead

With the English group's enthralling music and enigmatic nature, Portishead set the template for the many acts influenced by its moody trip-hop sound as well as those eager to project the same shadowy allure. Formed in Bristol, England, in 1991 by singer Beth Gibbons and producer/multi-instrumentalist Geoff Barrow (guitarist Adrian Utley joined soon after), Portishead forged a unique sound by combining Gibbons' emotive, mournful vocals, hip-hop-style beats, samples of vintage jazz, funk, and movie scores, and the contributions of other musicians. Even more crucial to the group's influence and impact was the sense of mystery that pervaded Portishead's 1994 debut, Dummy, and 1997's equally compelling Portishead. After these early successes, Portishead's lengthy and painstaking creative process—and the members' involvement with many side projects—led to larger gaps between releases and tours. But the group demonstrated its ability to breathe new life into its own much-imitated sound on later efforts such as 2008's startling Third and an eerie cover of ABBA's "SOS" for the 2015 film High-Rise.

Bristol, England
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