Saturday, 4 February 2012

Portico Quartet

Portico Quartet "Portico Quartet" Real World Records 29/01/2012

Fusing electronic and traditional instrumentation is a concept that has always fascinated me. When done well, it can remove the clinical precision often attributed to very computer centric music, colouring and complementing organic sounds to produce interesting and unique timbres.
Portico quartet's eponymous third album displays this perfectly, incorporating Drums, Sax, Steel Drums, Double Bass, an array of production equipment and an obvious affinity for Jazz and the more progressive side of electronica, it paints a unique soundscape that wouldn't be out of place as a film soundtrack. The fact that these are live musicians dabbling in production and not the other way round means that each part expresses the personality and skill of the individual members rather than a reproduction of sequenced tracks.
Cyclic plucked double bass riffs and syncopated drum beats echo the influence of Photek and the short naked piano melody of "Export to hot climates" nods to Drukqs era Aphex Twin. The haunting sound of "Ruins" with its speed picked harmonic minor bassline and eastern saxophone melody make it one of the stand out tracks.
This album is much closer to 2009's Isla than to last year's far more straight up jazz set "Knee-Deep in the North Sea". If you are lucky enough to get hold of the special edition, you will get an extra bonus 5 track EP to go with it. Portico quartet have begun 2012 in style and their new live show is highly recommended.


Window Seat
Export to Hot Climes
Laker Boo
4096 Colours
City of Glass

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