Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Portico Quartet - S/T (2012)

Portico Quartet still sound like nothing you ever heard before. The Mercury nominated East London based outfit's unique brand of hypnotic minimalism has expanded to embrace new sonic territories. Drawing on the inspiration of electronica, ambient, classical and dance music as they take their strange, beautiful, cinematic, future music to exciting new vistas where the inspiration of Burial, Mount Kimbie 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.

[...] With their new, richly layered sound Portico Quartet have, like so many other artists today, brought elements of the recording studio into the live environment, blurring the lines between band and producer. Emboldened by this process the new album is produced by the band themselves and brilliantly engineered by Greg Freeman at the Fish Market studios and Real World. Jack explains how they've mastered the art of creating such a detailed live sound; "Because of the way we were making it by putting on the effects live, we did half of the production while we were composing it. So we knew where all the reverbs were going because we are doing that all live as well, so we knew exactly where we wanted that to go - like distortion or whatever, all the effects - almost doing our own live 'dubs' of the acoustic tracks. So when it was in the studio we knew exactly what was going on. Then it was a case of mixing everything and making sure it fitted in, and putting it down in the best way we possibly could."

The result is an album of compelling musical journeys exploring both inner and outer spaces. Abstract, virtual, visceral, horizon-less landscapes of sound, melody and rhythm; unlike anything you've ever heard.

Mike Flynn, London, November 2011

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