Influenced by the same lineage of bass-heavy dub music, trip-hop and post-punk often go hand in hand. Few bands were able to walk that line as well as Portishead, whose trio of records remain incredibly influential and powerful. With that in mind, Brooklyn-based ritual solo musician knifesex has put together an incredible compilation honoring the 20th anniversary of Portishead’s self-titled record, released in September of 1997. The original release saw Portishead expanding on their cult following, with singles like “All Mine” and “Only You” receiving heavy airplay on MTV.
The compilation features a track-by-track reading of the record by eleven of the best underground projects, many of which run the spectrum from dark, ritualistic synth to hazy dreampop. Each track was recorded, mixed, and mastered individually, and the entire compilation is available as a free lossless download via Soundcloud.
Here’s a few words about each of the contributing artists:
1. “Cowboys” – Buried Things feat. Shari Vari
Collaborative, rotating dark synth collective led by multi-instrumentalists Frank Deserto (The Harrow, Dream Affair) and Natalie Kocsis. This particular recording features guitars by Greg Fasolino (The Harrow, Bell Hollow) and Eddie Raison, with vocals by Shari Vari (Void Vision).
2. “All Mine” – Primitive Heart
Primitive Heart is a Dreamgaze project by multi-genre producer and visual artist Dani Mari. Audiences have gravitated toward Dani Mari’s beautifully haunting voice and simplistic elegant lyrics. Her ethereal vocals “seemingly cast a spell” and transport listeners to an era of nostalgia which exists within the depths of her soul.
3. “Undenied’ – Meviu§
Meviu§ is an experimental electronic shoegaze project from multi-instrumentalist/producer/DJ Daniel Ka$$hu. Ka$$hu has also played with acts such as HEAVEN, Death Valley High, and more.
4. “Half Day Closing” – Winkie
Brooklyn-based duo Winkie specialize in taking its listeners on an intense excursion into their own dark vortex of sound. Much like My Bloody Valentine and Jesus and Mary Chain, there is always beauty to be found within.
6. “Humming” – Public Memory
Public Memory is a concoction of damaged and dubbed-out percussion, unfurling tape-delayed synths and broken field recordings – all strung together by songwriter Robert Toher’s snarling tenor, creating something of an alien crossroads between 4AD, Krautrock, Coldwave and KID A.
7. “Mourning Air” – Black Heart
BLACK HEART is Austrian singer/songwriter Corina Cinkl’s solo project. BLACK HEART is Dark Pop music, featuring melodic songwriting amidst an atmosphere of ethereal electronic sound.
8. “Seven Months (Elysium)” – TRIPLE BLVK DVRKNESS FT. ☩STELLA☩PERISH☩
Stella Perish helms both 3t3rnal Records as well as contributes to this compilation as a collaborative member of Triple Blvk Darkness.
9. “Only You” – Pe† Ceme†ery
Pe† Ceme†ery is sadness from the cold wastelands of the North of England.
10. “Elysium” – a place both wonderful and strange
a place both wonderful and strange is the Brooklyn-based Occult Electronic Dance performance art moniker of Laura Hajek and Russ Marshalek. Their latest release What I Speak I Create is available via Sony/The Orchard.
11. “Western Eyes” – PRIMA PRIMO
PRIMA PRIMO is an Industrial Vaudeville duo comprised of maternal cousins Janet Castel and Stephen Franco. Their music is mis-measured parts dark wave, theatrical pop, and something more ether.