When in doubt, head for the josh blog. Josh talks a bit about trip-hop, thus triggering my bonnet’s most implacable bee: I think in retrospect my mistake was to use a Massive Attack or Tricky review to address the subject at all – those artists are deeply individual and have done magnificent work (though they’ve also both done dodgy work, if you ask me). What I was talking about is much closer to trip-hop’s definition as instrumental hip-hop for dope smokers: check out the epochal and largely awful Headz compilation for an early example of this. Nowadays at the commercial end we have comps like Bar Culture which goes to show that ‘eclectic’ and ‘predictable’ are not mutually exclusive things. Of course the title of the compilation is the biggest pointer to why I don’t like the stuff – put a good example under a film soundtrack (see my Ghost Dog write-up on Blue Lines) and it can work really well. Put it in a bar and the homogenity of the music really, really grates.

Oh look, I’m sorry, I can’t explain why I hate this stuff, I just do. Every record on Ninja Tune could be bundled into a huge skip and pushed into the fucking Thames for all I care, and the world would be an infinitely better place, as indeed it would be if people who designed bars to be ‘funky’ and ‘kitsch’ were given a one way ticket to Saudi Arabia to ply their wretched ironic minimalist trade there.