Silent Poets made approximately six albums between 1994 and 1999, not counting the remix projects that sometimes seemed to garner more attention than the original releases.
Our rap-featuring playlist notwithstanding, Michiharu Shimoda (programming, keyboard, sampler, turntable) and Takahiro Haruno (programming, sax, keyboard) were far from what you and I understand to be hip-hop producers. But I guess you could say they approached the matter more serious than others outside of hip-hop who every now and then guest-feature rappers. I derive that from the fact that they worked with the very godfathers of rap, the Last Poets, as early as 1994, when hip-hop's young generation was as self-absorbed as ever.
Like their countryman DJ Krush, the Silent Poets turned more abstract over the '90s, as indicated by their guests on "Prisons" (off 1999's "To Come..."), New York underground crew the Anomolies. But where Krush has wandered off into realms of abstractness beyond anything remotely catchy, the Poets, on their journey from dub to downbeat and back, managed to keep up the groovy appearances, at least in parts.
While that is all I have to report on the Silent Poets, you're not to be lost in translation altogether. The Silent Poets speak the universal language of music, whether amongst themselves on the instrumental "Mass" (off 1996's "Firm Roots") or supported by guests such as Last Poets Jalaluddin Mansur Nuriddin and Sulieman El-Hadi on "Inquizative, Derivative" (off 1994's "Words and Silence"). Read more on Last.fm