What is Trip Hop Music?

According to Wikipedia, trip hop (or trip-hop) is a genre consisting of downtempo electronic music, originating in the early 1990s.  You might say it is a combination of hip hop and electronic music.

I was unaware of trip hop until just a few years ago.  There was a champagne commercial which received a lot of play on cable. The background song was “The Mating Game” and I liked it. When I received a Zune mp3 player, one of the free downloads was this song. The producers were called Bitter:Sweet featuring vocalist Shana Halligan and producer Kiran Shahani.  Their music is called baroque trip-hop (I think the baroque term is used because the music is less austere than much of the original trip hop music.)  I liked it enough that I purchased a number of their MP3s. Here are some samples:

Bitter:Sweet – The Mating Game (Yes King Remix). I actually like this remix better than the original.
Bitter:Sweet – Bittersweet Faith. This was featured in the film “The Devil Wears Prada(2006)”.

Bitter:Sweet – Dirty Laundry.
Bitter:Sweet – Dirty Laundry (Skeewiff Remix). Remember my talk about remixes? I like both the original and the remix very much.

The two remixes above are done by other remix artists but Bitter:Sweet released an album of remixes of their work. The group broke up in 2010 but was highly successful for seven years.

While this group was my entry into the world of trip hop, they actually were late on that scene. My son, my son-in-law, and pandora.com led me to two English groups that were very early artists in the genre: Massive Attack and Portishead were both active in the early 1990s.

Massive Attack – Tear Drop. Recognize it? It is the theme for “House MD” on Fox.
Massive Attack – Black Milk. Love it! Love it!
Massive Attack – Silent Spring. This is a wonderful track, very poignant. Did you notice that the words are a made up language? There is no meaning to them, yet your mind makes the song very meaningful.

All of the above vocals were done by Elizabeth Fraser of the Cocteau Twins. Massive Attack used a number of vocalists over time.

Portishead – Glory Box. A classic trip-hop song. I like it a lot.
Portishead – Mysterons. What can I say? Wish I could do that.
Portishead – Only You. I just discovered this one. It grabs me.

Both Massive Attack and Portishead are still active although neither band has released anything new for a while.

I suggest taking some time and listening to these pieces.

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What is Trip Hop Music? was last modified: March 8th, 2018 by cy

3 thoughts on “What is Trip Hop Music?

  1. Hi, thank you for helping me to find another great pieces of trip hop music!! Good job you are doing on your pages. Thank you for that!

  2. You should definitely listen to the following albums if you love trip-hop:
    Sneaker Pimps – Becoming X
    Sneaker Pimps – Splinter
    DJ Krush – Strictly Turntablised
    Morcheeba – Big Calm
    And anything by DJ Krush, DJ Cam, and DJ Shadow

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