Back in the late ‘90s and early ‘00s, many musicians began blending hip-hop beats into their music, following the success of trip-hop artists like Massive Attack and Portishead. There was the folktronica of Beth Orton’s Trailer Park and Central Reservation, the soulful breakbeats on Everything But the Girl’s Walking Wounded, and even Craig Armstrong’s blend of trip-hop rhythms and modern classical on The Space Between Us.
All of the aforementioned albums still hold up really well, but one album from that era that I still listen to on a regular basis is Bowery Electric’s Lushlife. Originally released in 2000 by Beggars Banquet, the album found the duo of Lawrence Chandler and Martha Schwendener working with a hazy blend of swirling guitars, sweeping strings, and downtempo beats that proves quite intoxicating still to this day — particularly on songs like “Floating World,” the title track, and “Psalms of Survival.”
Lushlife was the group’s final album, however. Following its release, Chandler and Schwendener went on to other collaborations and solo projects, and in Schwendener’s case, art criticism for The New York Times. But on February 1, Beggars Banquet will celebrate the album’s 20th anniversary by releasing a remastered version on both vinyl and digital.