Portishead's world is surreal, unsettling, and seductive.
Taking their name from their hometown in
England, Portishead digs deep into jazz,
soul, film noir soundtracks and pain on their
debut Go! Discs/London album "Dummy".
Imagine Billy Holiday singing Dante on a
David Lynch soundtrack. Imagine Joy
Division coming out of the Acid Jazz scene.
Imagine Massive Attack taking a handful of
downs and producing Janis Ian.
Portishead are Geoff Barrow and Beth
Gibbons who together blend traditional
songwriting with multimedia, particularly
cinematic references, blending thriller/
suspense and action genres with surreal
and sparse soundtracks from the new wave
film movements of the 60s and 70s. Geoff,
while working at a studio in Portishead, met
Massive Attack, and through them met
Neneh Cherry. He subsequently co-wrote
3 tracks with her on her last albulm
has recently remixed for Gabrielle and Depeche Mode.
The band's creative vision to write music directly cut to visuals
was realized with their debut release, a short film entitled
'To Kill A Dead Man', which also serves (in an edited form) as the video for
The debut US single "Sour Times (Nobody Loves Me)" is a gorgeously blue
lament set to a loping hip-hop beat,
with eggshell-fragile voclas and guitar twang in perfect
synchronicity inside a shimmering arrangement.
"Portishead's music is moody and dark; soul renching torch songs set to
low blood-pressure hip-hop grooves...A future classic." -- NME
"..makes Joy Division and The Smiths sound like prose from a Hallmark
greeting card...records like this are one in a million." -- Billboard