Listen to their new album...

Jazz - music for mouldy old figs, right?


Now onto their third album, Portico Quartet have spent their career turning expectations of what jazz can achieve on their head. Approaching their new album, influences such as Flying Lotus, Mount Kimbie and James Blake sit alongside the more familiar figures of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and Don Cherry.

Out today (January 30th) 'Portico Quartet' is another divergence from the always impossible to predict group. Sitting somewhere between free jazz and modern electronic, the album fuses a sense of composition borrowed from Steve Reich with the bloody minded forward thinking of labels such as Hyperdub.

ClashMusic have been allowed to stream the album, which you can hear below. For a little bit of insight, Portico Quartet also agreed to pen a 'Track by Track' guide - find that after the jump...

- - -

Window Seat: a duet of electronics and double bass. Inspired by extensive travel over the past 2 years, listening to music watching the world flash by from a train window, this track works as an introduction to the sound of the album.

Ruins: An upbeat tune that propels you into the bulk of the album. Melodic and top tapping it’s one of the more accessible tracks.

Spinner: Developed from an infectious bass groove this tune draws on Isla’s melodic style but uses the loop stations and electronics we developed for this album.

Rubidium: A rhapsodic exploration of texture, this track grew from ideas we explored on ‘Line’ on our previous album but this time we were armed with a new array of electronics and samples to play with. The drum solo in the middle was recorded at the end of a long corridor in a warehouse with the aim of creating a textural rather than a virtuosic solo…

Export To Hot Climates: This piece acts as a light reprieve at the heart of the album. Recorded on my old family piano, an emblem under the lid says: ‘tropicalised for export to hot climates’. It was built in Haringey exported to Malaysia and then taken back to London where it is now.

Lacker-Boo: One of the first tunes we wrote on this album it marked a real step forward for us as we began to redefine the musical relationships in order to create a new sound. There’s no sax, the sampled hang plays the baseline and the double bass plays a melody. Set over field recordings and a pitched up hang motive this is a dark and hypnotic experience.

4096 Colours: This track is set over a field recording we made while on a stopover in Cologne. It was recorded in front of a stain glass window by Gerhard Richter that is based on his colour chart painting ‘4096 colours’. Beginning melodically it ends on a dread like ecclesiastic drone that blends into

City Of Glass: This track developed out of a drum loop, it draws on contemporary dance but is embedded with Gnawa style Moroccan rhythms. It drops to a dizzy free middle section but has a euphoric ending that sees the album home.

Trace: Popped this on at the last minute as a way out of the album. It acts as a calm moment to reflect in after the albums finished.

- - -

'Portico Quartet' is out now.

Photo Credit - Jamie Leith

Follow Clash: