Wednesday, April 20, 2011

6 Underground

Song: 6 Underground
Artist: Sneaker Pimps
Album: Becoming X

After doing research on CocknBillKid yesterday, I started reading about producer Liam Howe, whom I wasn't 100% familiar with.  Though I did find out that he was the main producer and creative force behind on of my favorite records of last year, "The Family Jewels" by Marina & the Diamonds.  But Howe came up again while I was listening to the new Sophie Eliis-Bextor album, which he produces a couple of tracks.  He's also done work for Ellie Goulding, The Whip, Adele, and Tom Vek.  But Howe is maybe best known as one of the founding members of 90's trip-hop pioneers Sneaker Pimps.

When trip-hop was coming up in the 90's I was in college and a little too into a lot of American Alternative to get into a lot of the pioneering electronica acts of the time.  Although Sneaker Pimps had two huge inescapable single in that era that I do have fond memories of.  I always loved "6 Underground," their slinky hit from their debut album, 1996's "Becoming X."  Also from that album was "Spin Spin Sugar," another favorite that I thought was bested by the Armand Van Helden Remix.  Amazing.

Sneaker Pimps was formed by Howe and Chris Corner who then recruited Kelli Dayton to supply vocals.  They hit gold with "Becoming X," but in the recording of demos for their second album, they decided Corner's scratch vocals worked better for the material and ultimately dropped Dayton to make him lead singer. Possibly because of this, I know nothing from their two follow ups, 1999's "Splinter," and 2002's "Bloodsport."

Admittedly, Dayton's vocals on "X" seem unremarkable, but they work, and really fit with the material.  So who'd to say... anyhow, "6 Underground" is pretty much required to have for any singles collector, and "Becoming X" is quite a good album.  Though in retrospect, it sounds less "trip-hop" to me than other touchstones of the period like Portishead's "Dummy" or Massive Attack's "Blue Lines."


6 Underground

Spin Spin Sugar

Tesko Suicide

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