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    Become fan 31 Rate 1 Like & Share
    Genre:Alternative, Electronic, Trip-Hop
    Rank:7971 history »
    5.0/5 from 1 users

    Most Popular Songs (more)

    1Cowboys lyrics
    2It Could Be Sweet lyrics
    Sour Times lyrics
    4Mysterons lyrics
    5Nylon Smile lyrics
    Threads lyrics
    Small lyrics
    8Fun For Me lyrics
    9It's A Fire lyrics
    10Pedestal lyrics

    Most Popular Albums (more)

    518 5.0/5
    Dummy [1994]
    2Pearl [1999]
    3Pnyc [1998]
    4Third [2008]
    Portishead [1997]
    6Glory Times [1995]



    Though their sounds may be borrowed from the past, Portishead--along with Tricky, Massive Attack and others--are considered one of the pioneers of trip-hop, a fusion of hip-hop, rock and ambient electronica. Heavily influenced by both American hip-hop and '60s spy soundtracks, Portishead twist and warp the past to create a new, darker and more personal sound.

    The group was founded by Geoff Barrow, who moved to the tiny town of Portishead, England (just outside Bristol) with his mother when he was 13 years old. As a teen he played the drums, but he learned how to sample and mix records when he landed his first job at age 18 as a tape operator at the Coach House Studios. There he met Massive Attack and many other artists, wrote three demos for Neneh Cherry's HomeBrew album and assisted Tricky in the production of a track for a charity album. Barrow has also remixed singles for Gabrielle, Depeche Mode, Primal Scream and Paul Weller , as well as doing production work for Carleen Anderson and Monie Love. In 1991, Barrow met singer Beth Gibbons and the two forged a creative partnership as Portishead, with Barrows composing the music and Gibbons writing the accompanying lyrics. Dave McDonald (sound engineer and owner of the State Of The Art studios) and Adrian Utley (a jazz player who's worked with numerous Blue Note artists and on some film soundtracks) also aided in the writing, performing and producing of Portishead's first and only full-length album, 1994's Dummy. The album was extremely successful due to the popularity of its single "Sour Times," which received massive radio and MTV play in both the U.S. and the U.K.

    Dummy is one dark, scary trip. Down-tempo, bass-heavy beats, spooky samples of jazz and spy music, and Gibbons' sad/scared/seductive vocals create a rich, emotionally-charged soundscape. Portishead has also contributed to a number of compilations, most notably the Stealing Beauty soundtrack.

    © Dori Merifield

    Following the Mercury Music Prize award, Barrow retreated to Coach House to begin work on Portishead's second album. The self-titled record finally appeared in September 1997. The live PNYC followed late the next year. The self-titled record finally appeared in September 1997. Portishead went on hiatus starting in 1999, and Barrow, Utley and Gibbons worked on their own projects
    The sonics on Portishead would make it an impressive follow-up, but what seals its success is the remarkable songwriting. Throughout the album, the group crafts impeccable modern-day torch songs, from the frightening, repetitive "Cowboys" to the horn-punctuated "All Mine," which justify the detailed, engrossing production. The end result is an album that reveals more with each listen and becomes more captivating and haunting each time it's played.

    In 2008, a decade after their last album, Portishead returned with Third, the trio's most challenging, unpredictable work yet.
    Third feels more modern than any of those computer-corrected tracks as the group's very sensibility mirrors the 21st century, where the past is always present. Then, of course, there's that rich, fathomless darkness that Third offers, something that mirrors the troubled days of the new century but is also true to that shimmering, seductive melancholy of Dummy. Here, the sad sounds aren't quite so soothing, but that human element of Portishead gives them a sense of comfort, just as it intensifies their sense of mystery, for it is the flaws -- often quite intentional -- that give this an unknowable soul and make Third utterly riveting and endlessly absorbing.

    SOURCE: www.allmusic.com

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