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 Portico Quartet - Black & White Sessions (2009)

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PostSubject: Portico Quartet - Black & White Sessions (2009)   Sat Apr 30, 2011 1:29 pm

Artist: Portico Quartet
Title Of Album: Black & White Sessions
Year Of Release: 2009
Genre: Jazz
Format: MP3
Bitrate: VBR ~230 Kbps
Tracks: 7
Total Time: 45:24 min
Total Size: 75 MB


01. Dawn Patrol (6:20)
02. News From Verona pt.2 (6:42)
03. Untitled (5:06)
04. The Full Catastrophe (8:24)
05. Midnite Delite (6:07)
06. Johnson (5:02)
07. November (7:43)


Quote :

The Portico Quartet are a bunch of guys in their early twenties who play instrumental music. Formed four years ago from two sets of schoolfriends, they share a house in East London, make recordings, and play festivals and clubs. Yet what distinguishes them from dozens of other Hackney hopefuls is the way they sound – a fresh, unclichéd resynthesis and reinvention of music that’s both pleasingly familiar and thrillingly new, like World Music from the future. With largely acoustic resources – percussion, bass and wind instruments – they have conjured and refined a group signature that’s immediately recognisable. Thanks to the use of the hang, a tuned percussion instrument bought on impulse at a music festival, they have a sound that is instantly attractive, yet uncompromisingly individual, and it’s this, combined with the cheerful eloquence of their performances, that has brought Portico Quartet a long way in a short time.

The line-up of the band is Duncan Bellamy (drums), Milo Fitzpatrick (double bass), Nick Mulvey (hang and percussion) and Jack Wyllie (soprano, tenor saxophones and electronics). From a grassroots start in 2005, busking on the South Bank of London’s Thames, their reputation spread swiftly. They began to get paid bookings plus the odd festival, and they made a five-track CD to sell at gigs. In 2007 they signed a record deal to make a full length CD, Knee Deep In The North Sea (Babel/Vortex). This was a turning point: the album attracted attention from DJs, bloggers and critics of every stripe, and was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize alongside Rachel Unthank, The Last Shadow Puppets, Radiohead and Elbow – a win-win situation for credible newcomers like Unthank and Portico Quartet.

For an instrumental band, playing acoustic music with unfamiliar instruments, Portico Quartet seem to have glided effortlessly past all the potential obstacles in today’s music culture: they’re lucky, but they’ve also made their own luck. I first heard about them by word of mouth, and through the YouTube clip of ‘Still Life With Flowers’, an animation by Leo Bridle (a Southampton schoolfriend of Wyllie) that makes clever use of their music. When I first saw them perform – during the Southbank Centre’s reopening weekend in 2007 – their free, ad hoc performances prompted random audience groupings to gather within seconds. People of all ages and all types smiled with pleasurable recognition at music they’d never heard before. It’s not ‘easy listening’, but it’s a friendly sound, for reasons that are as musical as they are social. As Mulvey says: ‘The resonance of the hang really hugs everything around it.’
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