Trip-hop emerged during the early '90s. Born out of the underground electronic scene, this was the kind of music to stick on in the early hours, post rave. When your body could no longer dance, it was time for the sounds of downtempo ambience, to ease your mind into psychedelia-laced bliss.
The genre's most prominent early acts originated from the UK. The fusion of hip hop, with other genres, merged to create a sound of unique resonance. Its downtempo nature and reliance heavy-base driven beats, made it a staple for the alternative electronic scene. As the genre grew in scope and popularity it took on more forms. Cutting a fine line between etherial electronica and dark and dingy lo-fi.
Whether you want a bit of reggae-laced dub, blues-infused electronica, or some soul-rich downtempo, trip hop has you covered. From the UK based originators in Bristol, to the innovators on America's West Coast, and the more modern interpreters of the genre; these are some of the greatest trip-hop records to ever wobble a sound system.
10. The Mirror Conspiracy - Thievery Corporation (2000)
Although many consider trip-hop to have originated in Bristol, electronic acts in America were putting their own downtempo spin on things. Thievery Corporation formed during the '90s, in Washington D.C. Their first album was a mellow mix of world music and and hip hop samples.
The incorporation of wider ranging influences, on their second album, made the group hard to pin down, however. Early tracks like, Le Monde, utilised French vocals for a distinctly European sound. Whereas, Lebanese Blonde, laid on Middle Eastern themes. Coupled with the jazz stylings of vocalist, Pam Bricker. it's an instant mood setter. Not many tracks will simultaneously imbue you with a drive to get up and go, while imparting a sense of relaxation.
As the record progresses, it builds in momentum. More uptempo tracks like, Air Batucada, serve to move everything along in a satisfyingly subtle way. There'll be moments when you want to do nothing, but blissfuly surrender to the album's mood. At others you'll be pulled into an inescapable desire to dance.