Red Snapper are notable for a pioneering and evolving synthesis of acoustic and electronic sounds that has drawn from avant-garde jazz, funk, dub, post-punk, and hip-hop.
Guitarist David Ayers, double bassist Ali Friend, and drummer Richard Thair formed the London-based band in 1994, the year they released their first two EPs, both of which featured Beth Orton as the first of several vocal collaborators. After a third EP, it and the preceding releases were licensed to Warp, which compiled them as Reeled & Skinned (1995). Warp remained Red Snapper's home for the proper albums Prince Blimey (1996), Making Bones (1998), and Our Aim Is to Satisfy Red Snapper (2000), a period during which the group also thrived as a live act and supported Björk and Massive Attack, among several other artists. After the trio devoted time to separate projects, they returned on Lo Recordings with Red Snapper (2003), a collection of previously unreleased and live material, and Redone (also 2003), a remix set. Performances and outside activities resumed during the ensuing years as Red Snapper recorded less frequently, documented on A Pale Blue Dot (Lo, 2008) and Key (V2, 2011). The group subsequently toured with a reissued print of the '70s Senegalese road movie Touki Bouki, a film that enabled a deeper exploration of Afrobeat -- one of their enduring inspirations -- and formed the basis of Hyena (Lo, 2014). Touring commitments afterward included performances of Prince Blimey in its entirety. ~ Jason Ankeny & Andy Kellman, Rovi