If you are looking for a brief list of trip hop bands, then here are five names representative of this genre. Although they share a lot in common with such ‘big-name artists’ as Massive Attack, and Portishead, they are by no means identical. Each band has a slightly different approach and background, resulting in an indistinct and unique sound. This kind of musical variety demonstrates how rich the genre of trip hop is in itself, containing a wide spectrum of listening material for hungry ears.
Being a trip hop band from England, Sneaker Pimps gained wider popularity with their debut album “Becoming X”. While deriving some of its influences from alternative rock, with its rock guitars and characteristic song structures, Sneaker Pimps’s first record mixed darker trip hop sounds with atmospheric synthesisers and hip hop rhythms. Their later albums demonstrated a slightly different sound, partly due to the change of their lead singer.
Morcheeba is one of the most productive trip hop bands, having produced several successful albums over the course of the years. Being a British band, their first release “Who Can You Trust?” contained hypnotic, calm, and soothing music, where faint and relaxing vocals soared above the electronic background and subtle instrumentation. The ‘wah-wah’ guitar enforced the overall trippy sound furthermore.
Founded in 1997, Airlock is a trip hop artist from Belgium, whose music has been used in world-famous TV series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, and CSI: Miami. Their style is often dreamy and chilled, mixed with laconic female vocals. But there are some more rough-sounding electronic pieces as well, such as the title track of their first album “Drystar”, which is an instrumental track.
Blind Divine is one of those trip hop bands, whose music contains more influences of ambient, hypnotic rock, and dream pop. Their songs can be described as sonic paintings, which enmesh the listener into a different space and time, evoking an impression of a ghostly dreamworld. Unfolding strings, echoed guitars, gloomy Rhodes piano chords, and meandering melodies – all add to the spatial dimension of the compositions furthermore. Due to its visual nature, Blind Divine’s music has been widely used by numerous TV channels across the world.
Based in New York, Wax Poetic bends more towards jazz and urban music, while retaining the breathiness of trip hop. An early member of the group used to be also Norah Jones, who can be heard as a guest singer on their third album “Nublu Sessions”. One distinctive feature of the band is the use of live jazz instruments and laid back grooves. Another thing that sets them apart from numerous other trip hop bands, is the integration of Turkish music elements, which creates pleasantly exotic results.