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Vinyl, Import, May 5, 2015
Frequently bought together
2012 release from the British Jazz/World outfit. Portico Quartet still sound like nothing you ever heard before. The Mercury nominated East London based outfit's unique music has expanded to embrace new sonic territories. Drawing on the inspiration of Electronica, Ambient, Classical, World and Dance music as they take their strange, beautiful, cinematic, future music to exciting new vistas where the inspiration of Burial, Mount Kimbie, Radiohead and Flying Lotus rubs shoulders with the textures of Arve Henriksen and Bon Iver and echoes of Steve Reich and Max Richter. But all underpinned by a shared joy in collective music making as the band push their inimitable music into the future. Produced by the band themselves and brilliantly engineered by Greg Freeman at the Fish Market & Real World Studios, Portico Quartet's eponymous third album is the sound of a band that refuses to stand still.
...densely rhythmic pieces. Grooves and textures build into moody dreamscapes on which electronica mixes with the hypnotic churn of systems music. It all amounts to the foursome's most involving album yet. --The Times (UK)
This is a positively dangerous album. The moves further into ambient and electronic based music have taken the fascinating half-classical/half-jazz sound of the band into deeply hypnotic and completely enveloping new territory. ...I simply could not put it away. It is brilliant, in the same way that a diamond is brilliant - it shines and shimmers and your brain pulsates trying to follow all the different musical lights. --Music-news.com
Portico's message is clear from the pulsating opener, Window Seat, with its lazy, swerving long notes for bowed bass and electronic strings...The smoky melody to the ensuing Ruins makes Jack Wyllie's sax more like a stringed instrument crossed with a trumpet, its quivering vibrato spooky... Snappy groovers with chattery percussion patterns underpin cinematic sax themes. With its simple stick-clicking and sombre piano turning to foreboding electronic patterns around Dahlgren's childlike tones, Sleepless is a triumph. Portico have found a contemporary sound to thrill their fans and attract new listeners. --The Guardian (UK)
- Language : English
- Product Dimensions : 5.54 x 5.11 x 0.19 inches; 1.44 Ounces
- Manufacturer : REAL WORLD RECORDS
- Original Release Date : 2017
- SPARS Code : DDD
- Date First Available : December 15, 2011
- Label : REAL WORLD RECORDS
- ASIN : B0062XH7PK
- Number of discs : 1
- Best Sellers Rank: #279,832 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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of the criticism.
I was entirely wrong. Their new sound is even more experimental, to the point where it's barely recognizable compared to their earlier work. But while this approach has worked to some bands advantage (Radiohead for instance), here it just makes you ache for their more original earlier sound. There is more "electronica" in this album than actual jazz. The instrument that gave them such initial success, the steel-drum-esque "hang", which used to dominate their tracks, is almost entirely absent. The rambling and energized saxophone has also been delegated to a minority.
Now the sound is almost entirely "ambient", save for one track, Ruins, which sounds the closest to what I envisioned Portico Quartet's future, and maybe Spinner, though the later is not a very good song. For those who love haunting, melancholy ambient music that lacks a real rhythm and seems to fade in and out at random, well, that's 90% of the album. For those who loved Portico Quartet's earlier sound for its joyous qualities, for its chaotic solos that coalesced nicely into inspired jazz riffs, and for its ability to hook even the most adamantly anti-jazz listener... I think that ship has sailed. Prepare for an album that's more strange than good, and more disconcerting than pleasant.
The reason i say it's a little strange to vehemently champion jazz in this decade is predicated around the claim that i can scarcely name new artists that are pushing the genre forward whilst achieving any representation or popularity. Enter Portico Quartet a band who i've only just become acquianted with today, even though i've heard of them since they were nominated for the mercury in 2008. If these guys are or were ever a "jazz group" they are certainly moving beyond trumpet solos, delicate cymbal strokes and improvistaion, the sounds on this album sound more studied and deliberate than anything your likely to expect form a jazz record. Sonically they are much more in line with say experimental or art rock bands who dabble in electronics say post ok computer radiohead. "4096 colours" immediately sounds like a reinterpretation of "motion picture soundtrack" with some juxtaposed moody atmospherics and found sounds. And then theirs "City Of Glass" which could of easily made the cut on TKOL RMX 1234567 as Portico Quartets answer to "Lotus Flower". The band also brings to mind elements of sigur ros and laughing stock era Talk Talk, with it's use of beautifully melancholic horns and it's reliance on space and minimalism. The sort of jazz this quartet brings to mind is the glitchy by way of microhouse jazz that herbert brilliantly mastered with his "bodily Functions" album, particularly with there use of clicks and electronic beats that are scattered all throughout the duration of this record.
As you've probably worked out i liked this record and love the music it's been inspired by (or sonically resembles). But it's biggest strengh is also it's achilles heel for me. The music present here is distinctive if you only concern yourself with jazz but if you are an electronic and avant rock fan (of which i consider myself) you'll probably find the ideas and innovations on display here a little to familiar. However it's not beyond the realms of possibility that this talented group of musicians might be able to produce something that is more unique and individual in the future. The group has shown the ambition to move beyond the usual jazz cliches lets hope next time they transcend the rest too.
This is some of the best music I've ever heard. Incredible stuff right here, do yourself a favor and pick this up.
To me this sounds like a mix between Radiohead and jazz.
It's a very unique sound. I guess I would say what Radiohead is to rock, Portico Quartet is to jazz.
Do yourself a favor and listen to this music right away, you won't be disappointed.