Trip Hop community in Reddit voted for the top 10 Trip Hop albums, as voted by the community in :
- Mezzanine by Massive Attack, 1998 – Mezzanine is, without a doubt, the quintessential triphop album. This is what brought the genre to prominence. Simply put, Mezzanine is trip into sound bliss. The whole thing feels like your brain is being massaged, caressed by the marvelous sounds put forth.
- Dummy by Portishead, 1994 – ‘Dummy’ saw a change in triphop. Being one of the founding bands, Portishead helped to pioneer the sound, using many sharp and flat notes to create a sort of unease throughout their tracks, notably “Sour Times” and “Wandering Star”-but don’t let that discourage you, as this album is a masterpiece. It’s perfect for walking around at night during the rain.
- Endtroducing… by DJ Shadow, 1996 – Fun fact: this album is composed almost entirely of samples. It has a sort of scattered feel to it that ends up coming together into a wonderfully varied set of tunes that you won’t stop listening to. Much like the other 90’s triphop, it’s more downtempo, but don’t let that get to you-it’ll blow your mind.
- Blue Lines by Massive Attack, 1991 – ‘Blue Lines’ is the first album from Massive Attack, essentially creating triphop. Songs like “Safe From Harm” and “Unfinished Symphony” will go down as some of the finest music triphop has to offer. It’s a little more downtempo/lo-fi than many other albums on here, as the band was incorporating more rapping than many subsequent albums in the genre.
- Soon It Will Be Cold Enough by Emancipator, 2009 – Emancipator’s first release embodies the chilled out vibes of winter, drawing you into a cold evening, with temperatures freezing outside while you somehow stay warm. There’s a certain loneliness in the tracks, felt especially in the haunting vocals on “When I Go”.
- Modal Soul by Nujabes, 2005 – This album has always been a great moving around album. Nujabes provides a backdrop for the rhymes of various rappers and vocal samples, perfect for walking around in a downtown core. The beats and the rhymes provide a wonderful tempo that induces leg tapping and head bobbing.
- In A Space Outta Sound by Nightmares On Wax, 2006 – This is the most complete run through that I could find online, missing a couple key tracks, namely the opening song “Passion”. There is a huge difference in each song on this album, lending an eclectic but nonetheless cohesive feel. It’s a great walking around town album, yet also perfect for relaxing in the sun. The energy from songs like “Flip Ya Lid” entices you to move.
- Simple Things by Zero 7, 2001 – Again, another incomplete track listing, but it has the essential tracks like “In The Waiting Line” and “I Have Seen”, along with many other enjoyable songs. This is a smooth album, easy to listen to anytime to chill out to, or study, or any number of things. It’s incredibly versatile.
- Maxinquaye by Tricky, 1995 – Tricky was a founding member of Massive Attack, but he left during the recording of ‘Mezzanine’, as he didn’t like the artistic direction being taken. What we got is an album named after his mother, with vocals by his then-girlfriend Marina Topley Bird. It’s got a deeper, more dark feel that we get in both ‘Mezzanine’ and ‘Dummy, but it’s definitely a worthy album in its own right.
In terms of votes, two albums tied for 10th place…
10a. Mickey Mouse Operation by Little People, 2006 – A journey into chill-dom, Little People manages to amaze with ‘Mickey Mouse Operation’. It’s a polished piece, feeling clean and smooth, allowing me to sigh with happiness and relax everytime I listen. Another wonderfully versatile album.
10b. Black Sands by Bonobo, 2010 – As it happens, this is yet another playlist missing videos, which is inescapable, it seems. It still contains all the tracks with Andreya Triana, which add a whole new level of depth to this album not seen in some of his past works. Great music for crusing around at night.
This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it offers a diverse feel of triphop both old and new. There’s something for just about every palette, whether you want the deep and dark 90’s triphop from Portishead and Tricky, or the more recent, lighter tracks from artists like Nujabes and Zero 7.