Portishead - Dummy (Vinyl)

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'Dummy' is the debut studio album by electronic band Portishead which consists of Geoff Barrow, Beth Gibbons and Adrian Utley. Released in 1994. The album won the 1995 Mercury Music Prize after receiving critical acclaim, and is often cited in the best albums of the '90s and as an archetypal trip-hop record. The album includes songs such as 'Sour Times', 'Glory Box' and others. The production of the album uses a number of hip-hop techniques, such as sampling, scratching and loop-making. The album was not recorded digitally. They sampled music from other records, but they also recorded their own original music which were then recorded onto vinyl records before manipulating them on record decks to sample. (Please note that the hum, hiss and static crackle on this LP is intentional). 


Though I actually prefer Dummy to Massive Attack’s Blue Lines, it’s still a runner up to Massive Attack’s masterpiece as Blue Lines set the bar for all albums to come after it in the realm of trip hop. It’s important to note that important doesn’t necessarily mean better. That being said, Dummy truly is a flawless album, and one that sounds as good and as innovative as it did back in the early 90’s. It’s a bleak, dark, and atmospheric experience that grows as the album plays. Back when albums were a holistic and important part of music, each track in Dummy is placed perfectly in a sequential order that feels like you’re listening to a film. The hip hop percussion and turntablism run at a steady 90 bpm, with what feels like a small orchestra backing the piercing beats. And then of course Beth Gibbons’ sublime voice is what sets this album apart as it often sounds and feels like an additional musical instrument (especially on tracks like Numb, Glory Box, and of course Wandering Star). If you have ever had the pleasure of seeing them live, her presence is breathtaking and Dummy is where it is best showcased.
IMHO, this genre and period in music, the early to mid 90’s was by far my favourite as so many incredible trip hop bands emerged, providing a plethora of seminal albums that easily hold their own in 2018. I miss the bold and brave bands like Portishead, Massive Attack, Morcheeba, DJ Shadow, DJ Krush, Unkle.., that started a movement that has yet to be replicated to this day. If you’re remotely interested in this kind of music, Portishead’s Dummy is a perfect place to start. Be warned.. It’s addictive as Belgian chocolate, especially for vinyl collectors, but oh so worth the binging.

Ps. As a vinyl release, this comes on gorgeous, chunky 180g black wax that sounds rich and vibrant. It’s well worth the purchase as it’s an album that belongs in every self-respecting collector’s library. 6/5 stars!!

By; BeartheCat

A1 Mysterons
A2 Sour Times
A3 Strangers
A4 It Could Be Sweet
A5 Wandering Star
B1 Numb
B2 Roads
B3 Pedestal
B4 Biscuit
B5 Glory Box


Record Label:  4th & Broadway / Island
Catalogue No:  677 521-4