In 1994, in this very magazine, Mixmag’s Andy Pemberton coined the term ‘trip hop’ after hearing DJ Shadow’s ‘In/Flux’. It’s absent from this exhaustive round-up of Josh Davis’ back catalogue (which includes his work with UNKLE and two new tracks), yet that doesn’t detract from this stunning reminder of the Californian’s musical prowess.
His soulful, dense, addictive and slamming instrumental hip hop brought together rap heads, metal kids, indie fans and dance music lovers. Many tracks remain familiar because sports highlights and TV documentaries continue to use them today, such is the drama they embody. There’s the strings-meets-hardcore melancholia of ‘Stem’, for example, or ‘Building Steam With A Grain Of Salt’ with its dinosaur-heavy beat, celestial choirs and fragile piano refrain. Put simply, a genius at work.