Many may not know that Morcheeba translates literally into “the way (mor) of cannabis (cheeba)” and like the drug the band’s music has become synonymous with feelings of relaxation and tranquility. “We invented chillout with songs,” claimed Ross Godfrey, who along with brother and DJ, Paul, are the producers and founders of the band.
Well, inventors of chillout they may or may not be, but Morcheeba certainly helped define a genre and the sound of a UK generation, alongside contemporaries such as Massive Attack and Thievery Corporation. A decidely trip-hop sound, and a mesh of house and hip-hop beats that dominated Britain’s underground music scene in the mid-Nineties was played against a backdrop of the Godfreys’ oxymoron of upbeat chillout music and on top of all that came the instantly-recognisable and sultry vocals of Skye Edwards, perhaps the tipping point to Morcheeba’s popularity.
Commercial success followed with a move away from the bands sonic roots to a more pop sound on subsequent albums, Big Calm (1998) and Fragments of Freedom (2000), which featured the singles and radio playlist favourites, ‘The Sea’ and ‘Rome Wasn’t Built In a Day.’ Morcheeba’s music instantly conjured up images of sunsets or deserted beaches and it soon became the soundtrack to every middle-class dinner party, all facts which frustrated the Godfrey brothers. They had become a stereotype of the genre they claimed to have created. After 2002’s Charango, Skye Edwards left the band, and Morcheeba’s subsequent albums, notably Dive Deep (2005) became a revolving door for an array of musicians. Alas, neither party achieved the same success apart as they did together, the synergy was recreated in 2010 when Edwards rejoined the Godfreys for the first time in eight years to create their latest record Blood like Lemonade.