Like Kutmaster Kurt once said on the Masters of Illusion album with Kool Keith, there is no such thing as Trip Hop (although, in ’08, it’s not as dirty a word as mashup). Still, Bristol should be recognized for the original sound that their groups brought to the table. Interesting to note that Goldfrapp producer Will Gregory played the sax in Portishead early on. Both groups just put out new records and the first thing that came to mind was picturing Goldfrapp hear Third for the first time and them thinking it’s back to the drawing board… Article

Bristol’s small size also saw accidental chain reactions occur as disparate artists collided, at a speed impossible in London. So Tricky met his future muse, musical partner and mother of his child Martina Topley-Bird outside mutual friend Mark Stewart’s house. Size worked at the youth club where Robert del Naja of Massive Attack’s punk band, The Lunatic Fringe, played. And Portishead linchpin Geoff Barrow was the tape-op, watching and learning, as Massive completed their classic debut, Blue Lines (1991).

Portishead are the first of the scene’s major players to return, with the appropriately named album Third. And they are the classic example of why Bristol’s great generation never did quite conquer the world, and instead seemed to vanish for so long.

Listen to Dummy today, now its mid-Nineties over-exposure has worn off, and it is still a shockingly strange record. Its combination of abrasive scratching, ambient vinyl hiss, the spy-movie guitar of jazz veteran Adrian Utley, and the sensual but untouchably distant vocals of Beth Gibbons, remains potently unique. So unique, in fact, that Portishead themselves were unable to capitalise on it.