Rob Smith – Up On The Downs

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As 50 per cent of Smith & Mighty, he was?along with Massive Attack and Portishead?responsible for ‘the Bristol sound’, a brooding blend of hip hop-primed beats and noir-ish, textured soundscapes. Smith is a pioneer of what later became trip hop, but his solo effort is much more than the coffee-table accessory that might suggest. Its roots lie in dub, drum’n’bass and ragga, encompassing both the smoothly urgent, deep house of “Living In Unity” and “Great Escape”, where measured orchestral sweetness seeps through a monstrously baffled bass.

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