I remember listening to Portishead in high school. “Glory Box” was a favorite, though at the time I did not know they mimicked the introduction from “Day Dream” by the late 60s, early 70s Belgian psych-pop group The Wallace Collection. Sampling from such artists was a common feature for Portishead and, while I am unaware of any potential sampling on their latest, Third, it’s likely present and accounted for. Today I’m looking at the music video for “The Rip” off that album.
Revisiting Portishead’s earlier works, it’s easy to hear what led me to them in the first place: the darkly orchestrated movements, the trip-hop turntable sampling and scratching, and Beth Gibbons’ emotive quivering vocals.
Several of those elements draw me back on Third, though the recent album lacks select elements of trip-hop and is instead more cohesive and contemplative–one listen to the epic “Small” will tell you that.
“The Rip” quickly became my favorite track off Third. Here, the animated video is an apparent exploration into the dark side of the human soul. More than anything, the video can be seen as a work of art, much like the videos Radiohead created circa Amnesiac. They create a trippy old-school cartoon and put “The Rip” to it and the effect is both disturbing and awe-inspiring.
My recommendation: if you dig Portishead and have yet to pick up Third, grab the vinyl box set. It’s a beautiful work of art.
Now for the “The Rip” video…