Looking back on bands that got started in the 90's I'm starting to realize it was a very influential and exciting time for music. Portishead certainly ranks near the top of the list of groups that widened the horizon of musical possibilities and brought a lot of different sounds and influences together under one banner. It's not surprising Portishead and Massive Attack are mentioned in the same breath - the are both pioneering outfits that have changed the parameters of conventional music and how it's performed.
For me, the "ah-ha" moment came when I heard their first single, Sour Times in 1994. I admit, I wasn't sold on the genre of rap, and hip-hop was looking for its voice and wasn't quite there yet. But when people started evolving the genre of trip-hop - that got my attention and immediately won me over. And Portishead were at the European forefront.
Dark and mysterious never felt so warm.