They emerged from Bristol’s thriving trip-hop scene with little fanfare, but produced an understated, remarkable album that was lavished with critical praise and awards. Beth Gibbons’ moody vocals made her the obvious focus: turning from haunting, otherworldly angel to snarling witch within a moment, the Portishead sound was completely original. Much of the credit was also due to the programming of Geoff Barrow, which combined hip-hop scratching with science-fiction samples and dense orchestration. Not an immediately accessible record, it has, nevertheless, become a 90s classic ‘dinner-party favourite’ - arguably a waste for such an unsettling and cinematic album.
Tracks: Mysterons; Sour Times; Strangers; It Could Be Sweet; Wandering Star; Numb; Roads; Pedestal; Biscuit; Glory Box....