To me, trip-hop means downtempo beats, eclectic samples, electronics, jazz instruments, melancholy, psychedelia, intimate gatherings spaces. While trip-hop doesn’t jive with everyone’s temperament all day (mine included), it conjures up thoughts and feelings that can and should be appreciate at any time. Further, the sheer variety of artists under the increasingly broad umbrella of “trip-hop” ensures you can you can likely find something to match your mood. Of course, you’ll have to do your own hunting, but maybe I can give you a head start.
Interestingly, much of it comes out of Poland. I don’t know what it is about that country that makes Polish artists want to produce such mellow tunes, but I’m glad they do.
The first on my list of two is Noi2er. Also known as Michal Hnatiuk, and he’s recently released his debut album for the Dusted Wax Kingdom, a seven-track EP titled 71, Trip In Six-Dimensional Spacetime.
At times, it feels like sitting on the edge of a vinyl record as it slowly rotates around a record player. Through a sweet-smelling haze, we observe a dimly lit lounge with men and women draped over each other and atop long, low furniture. At others, the album feels like standing on the edge of the galaxy as it through the universe. Planets collide. Stars are born, die, and born again. Life emerges.
One of my favorite characteristics of Noi2er is the live instrumentation employed throughout the album, most notably the upright bass, drums, and cymbals. He tops it off with captivating samples and pitch-perfect bleeps and drones.
A great example of this style is “Arrival 10:31”. A patient, ethereal track, it showcases the upright bass in ways so prominent and profound, it’s like I’ve never heard the instrument before. The album as a whole can come off as a bit heavy, but I enjoy that aspect of it.
The second on my list is Quantifier. I can’t find much information about him other than that he hails from Wrocław. His album Dark Streets skillfully balances notions of playful innocence against the gravity of more serious affairs. In one moment, we’re surrounded by people, at another we’re in a dark corner with a special someone. Then we’re alone, walking off the late-night fog of our minds through the fog of the waking world around us.
The track I find myself coming back to again and again is “Old Gramophone”. It’s filled with various and beautiful strings, the organ, the saxophone, enough feedback to sound aged, and enough soul to sound classic.
Unfortunately, Quantifier seems to have dropped off the map since this Dark Streets came out.
These albums exude a romantic almost forlorn quality, and are truly a pleasure to hear. My only hope is you find them as deeply enjoyable as I do.
Noi2er – “Arrival 10:31”
Quantifier – “Old Gramophone”
71, Trip In Six-Dimensional Spacetime download page at Dusted Wax Kingdom
Dark Streets download page