Portishead producer Geoff Barrow has spoken about working with side project Beak>.
Part of the so-called Bristol sound, Portishead were one of the most influential groups Britain produced in the 90s. Taking almost a decade to cough up their third album, it seems as if songwriter Geoff Barrow is in need of outside stimulation.
Forming Beak>, the songwriter was able to work on his love of Krautrock and down tuned, doom laden rock. Releasing their debut album last year, the Bristol group helped launch Barrow’s new label.
Speaking to Self-Titled, the songwriter explained that the bulk of the material recorded by Beak> was improvised. “It was all improvised live with no overdubs. We played some of the songs 10 times, but we often went back to the first (take)”.
“We worked out arrangements as we went along, and then edited it because we didn’t want it to be too sprawling. We liked the idea of song structures, you know what I mean? Sometimes it works, and sometimes it’s just boring.”
Continuing, Geoff Barrow spoke about the connection between Beak> and Krautrock. “What it really comes down to is removing the blues aspect of a jam band” he explained.
“That usually ends up being kinda Kraut-y. The last Portishead stuff was the same way—we weren’t interested in playing our version of the blues, whereas some of the early stuff was blues or jazz-influenced.”
Launching a new label, Geoff Barrow was also asked to help out The Horrors on their new album. The result was ‘Primary Colours’ a record which the Portishead songwriter believes has been unfairly neglected.
“We just helped them along a bit. I think it’s an important British record, actually. The media doesn’t get behind them at all, especially over here. They just won’t play it on the radio because they think it’s too weird” he explained.
“Alternative radio over here is all about Florence and the Karaoke Machine. When people talk about indie music, they’re talking about that. There’s absolutely no love. It’s a hard place to get support.”
Beak> are working on their second album.