With the release of Morcheeba’s new CD and the upcoming Portishead release, 2008 is shaping up to be a banner year for trip hop, the electronica subgenre of thick slow beats, jazzy samples, and dark ambiance. The genre’s definition tends to suggest a restricted sound, but many trip hop bands have expanded their sound, some bleeding into downtempo, while other moving towards a straight hip hop sound. Contrary to Portishead’s move into a fractured, industrial sound, Morcheeba takes a stroll into acoustic-driven ballads, and easy going beats, perfect for a coffee shop, but maintaining enough of an edge to make you perk your ears up and listen.

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