Well, at least, for me it
They weren't considered
to be the absolute first to produce "trip-hop" music,
but they were the first artists that got me into trip-hop,
and by the same token, into downtempo music in general.
Back in 1995, way back
when I was doing commercial DJ events, I received a request sheet
back from a Tulsa high school, and strangely enough, Portishead
was included as something that somebody there wanted to hear.
I had vaguely heard
of Portishead, but I wasn't familiar with their music at all.
I talked with Paul over at Mohawk Music and he let me listen to
their open store copy of Portishead's 1994
debut album, Dummy.
It was unlike anything
I'd ever heard. It sounded like someone had combined old spy
movie music with hip-hop beat patterns - but a lot of effort had
been put into it. It wasn't just thrown together. Then,
there was that voice - Beth Gibbons, whose vocals could
convey spectacular degrees of emotion without sounding overwrought
It soon became something
I played almost all the time... and soon was picked as the soundtrack
for many, many late nights playing Doom II (often over my modem
in deathmatches with DJ TMJ) while munching on bowl after bowl of
To this day, Dummy
remains one of my favourite albums ever.