I’ve been wondering what’s become of trip-hop these days. I mean, it’s still around. DJ Shadow and Nightmares on Wax continue to create. There’s the obvious stuff, like Massive Attack, who’s celebrating the 21st anniversary of “Mezzanine” with next year’s album-in-its-entirety tour. And let’s not forget Portishead, who drift in-and-out of retirement.
But new fresh contemporary trip-hop’s eluded me. Or maybe it’s the opposite. I’m not sure. Anyway, today I ran across Glasgow-based producer Jon Cooper, who works under the name Turtle. Wow, this guy’s really interesting. He’s making some incredibly moody stuff, taking the spirit of trip-hop, tossing in some dream-pop, swinging things towards downtempo, and crafting a sound you can just get lost in.
“Blood Type” is the single that caught me, and it’s the lead track off the 2017 album “Human.” Listening to it is like being whisked away to some velvety cabaret, full of starlight and mystified atmosphere. It’s super-chill in its rhythm, yet filled with comforting warmth in its tones and textures. And this is partly due to the ethereal vocals of indie artist Eliza Shaddad.
Turtle’s other material is definitely worth checking out, whether or not you’re into trip-hop or the likes. Cooper seems to have a vision of where to take this genre, remaining true to its spirit, yet wide-open in its interpretation.
See if you’re compatible with Turtle’s “Blood Type.”
“Blood Type” from the 2017 album “Human.”
And the official music video, featuring slow-motion cars …