Parts of the Process
tracks the career of one of British music's least-sung success stories. When Morcheeba first emerged in 1996, they were bracketed with the trip-hoppers, very much in the slipstream of the Bristol crew represented by Massive Attack
. Yet their fortunes contrasted with those of most trip-hoppers: trip-hop is a supposedly languid, easy-grooving genre, but its major practitioners have proved surprisingly volatile, prone to internal feuds and catastrophic slumps or liable simply to evaporate altogether, like Portishead
. Morcheeba, on the other hand, with a quiet stealth that is the mark of their music, managed to garner a significant worldwide following, even touring China.
Morcheeba are a trio featuring brothers Paul and Ross Godfrey (whose backgrounds were in prog-rock and deejaying) and vocalist Skye Edwards. Their music is a seemingly effortless blend of influences from soul to hippy and rock to pop. It's smooth and beguiling, dark and beige by turns--no more so than on "Trigger Hippie". Without missing a beat, they are also able to incorporate guest artists such as rapper Big Daddy Kane on "What's Your Name" and Lambchop's Kurt Wagner on "What New York Couples Fight About". This is a fine compilation, but it's a shame that it's missing the title track from their debut album Who Can You Trust. --David Stubbs