Note from Apiento before I pass you over to Piers. I started this series to highlight the work of producers that I thought deserved it. For years Dr Rob picked up the baton and ran with it inna fine style and it felt like one we shouldn’t let slip through the net as it always worked so well. So here we have Smith & Mighty. Long-time favourites of mine and true originals. Bacharach and a beat. What more do you need. Over to Piers…
Looking at their discography I was quite surprised to see how little stuff there actually is. Rumours always abound – entire shelved albums, major label fall-outs, intense stubbornness, a work ethic all their own. But an entire universe of music orbits them. Massive Attack, Full Cycle, Neneh Cherry, Tricky, Nelly Hooper, their influence goes on and on and on and on. Bloody Morcheeba, a lot of anodyne coffee shop Trip-Hop, some truly sorry shit, lightyears apart.
The template, as much as there was one; lovers vocals, covers of standards, sound system bass pressure, Hip Hop beats, a certain Punk attitude, a little free party paranoia. Bristol’s musical culture distilled and personified.
I couldn’t wait to leave Bristol where I grew up. In thrall to House music and the usual teenage desire to leave home. But maybe musically I owe it more than anything. Do you ever really leave? I keep coming back to Reggae, craving that bass hit, those flat, deadpan vocals.
Ladies and gentlemen – Smith & Mighty.