Beth Gibbons Vinyl, CD & tapes by Beth Gibbons at Norman Records
As a crucial part of trip-hop behemoths Portishead, Beth Gibbons redefined the musical landscape with the albums Dummy, Portishead, and Third. In a world of Oasis, Blur, and the Verve, the Bristol contigency of not only Portishead but Massive Attack and Tricky too, made music that's far more cerebral. It's black as pitch, cinematic, and would almost deter you from listening if it weren't so fantastic. Gibbons' voice is often reedy and ethereal but works so well with the sparse, digital beats and hushed arrangements, rising out of the murk and gloom. She can convey so much despair with her voice but it's important to note that there's a real soaring quality that's especially evident on a song like 'The Rip'.
She's had an illustrious career outside of Portishead too, working with ex-Talk Talk bassist on the orchestral folk project Rustin Man. Most recently, she sung Henryk Górecki's third symphony with the Polish National Symphony Radio Orchestra. This is proof (not that it's needed) that Beth Gibbons remains one of the most interesting and uncompromising vocalists working today.
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