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Trip hop

Trip hop, a term coined by United Kingdom dance magazine Mixmag, describes a musical trend in the mid-1990s; trip hop is downtempo electronic music that grew out of England's hip hop and house scenes. Characterized by a reliance on breakbeats and a sample-heavy sound pioneered by Coldcut's remix of Erik B and Rakim's "Paid in Full", trip hop gained notice via popular artists such as Portishead, Massive Attack, Tricky, rock-influenced sound groups such as Ruby, California's DJ Shadow, and the UK's Howie B.

The trip-hop sound

The trip-hop sound is deeply reliant upon jazz samples, usually taken from old vinyl jazz records. This kind of reliance on sampling has changed the way record labels deal with clearing samples for use in other people's tracks.

Trip-hop tracks often sample Rhodes pianos, saxophones, trumpets, and flutes, and develops in parallel to hip hop, each inspiring the other.

Trip-hop production is historically lo-fi, relying on analog recording equipment and instrumentation for an ambience. Portishead, for example, record their material to old tape from real instruments, and then sample their recordings rather than recording their instruments directly to a track. They also tend to put their drums through considerable compression.

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