Portishead - Dummy

180 Gram Heavyweight Vinyl Reissue

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Dummy is the debut studio album by English electronic band Portishead, originally released in August 1994 by Go! Beat Records.

Portishead’s Mercury Prize-winning debut takes just seconds to spook its audience. An eerie drone, scratches that sound like alien chatter, a snapping beat that cracks with hip hop attitude but treads cautiously for fear of stepping on a crack and tumbling into whatever unholy chasm music like this is capable of opening. “Mysterons”’ title is apt -  named after the Martian race from Captain Scarlett, it’s an emission from a faraway planet of secrets and shadows. It opens the group’s singular soundworld in a way that’s exquisitely discomforting.

True, the constituents that make up much of this collection are easily traced - back to dub, to soul, and especially to hip hop; the array of scratch effects, loops and samples (the best being the slurry use of Johnnie Ray’s version of “I’ll Never Fall In Love Again”, on “Biscuit”) betraying its makers’ affections for very terrestrial traits. But it’s the manner in which the pieces come together that makes Dummy special to this day.

The soul of Portishead is Beth Gibbons. It’s her presence that made them truly stand out from the crowd. Her voice - a ghostly, fractured wail that sounds as if it’s crept from an Edwardian closet that’s been sealed since 1902 - plays a vital part in ensuring this set side-steps convention. Her’s is a voice that can’t be copied, it creaks and moans like Mary Celeste decking, every bit as shivers-down-the-spine inducing as Geoff Barrow’s off-kilter turntable work and unsettling electronics.

And it’s not Gibbons’ words that do the damage - it’s how they’re said. “Roads” - the sort of contemporary masterpiece is the best example of how her technique surpasses any lyrical content. The tone is familiar, an unspecified collapse, potential or assured but surely emotional; but the way she signs off a repeated line with a certain pronunciation of "wrong" is utterly arresting. It’s a shapeless sigh of beaten-down anguish, and there’s more heartache and pain in this single second than a whole rack of by-the-book balladeers.

Imitators have come and gone, but no act has reproduced the disquieting magnificence conjured here except Portishead themselves.

Dummy is the group’s defining work and one of the greatest debuts of the 1990s.

Check out the tracks: “Numb”; “Sour Times” and “Glory Box”. 

This reissued LP with a printed inner sleeve and reproduced original artwork is pressed in Europe on 180-gram heavyweight vinyl.

(042282852212)

Tracklisting:

 

 

Title

Time

A1

Mysterons

4:56

A2

Sour Times

4:05

A3

Strangers

3:49

A4

It Could Be Sweet

4:10

A5

Wandering Star

4:46

B1

Numb

3:43

B2

Roads

4:56

B3

Pedestal

3:20

B4

Biscuit

4:34

B5

Glory Box

4:49

SKU 042282852212
Record Label Go! Beat
Label / Model # Universal
Catalogue Number 828 522-1
Country EU - Europe
Release Date (Year) 24 March 2008
Original Release Date (Year) 22 August 1994
Barcode # 042282852212
Shipping Weight 0.2800kg
Shipping Width 0.005m
Shipping Height 0.314m
Shipping Length 0.314m
Shipping Cubic 0.000493m3
Type New
Format Limited Edition LP Record, 180 Gram Vinyl, Printed Inner Sleeve, Reissue
Vinyl Colour Black
Genre Rock
Genre Electronic
Genre Trip Hop
Format VINYL LP

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