Portico Quartet - Portico Quartet

If you’d have surrendered your spare change to Portico Quartet’s hat on a drizzly London day sometime before their rise to the throne of youth-friendly post-jazz jamming, it may not have been obvious that a few years later they’d be competing for a place as the next Four Tet. However, after the electronic hinting of 2009’s Isla, it shouldn’t be too shocking that the follow-up has found an infatuation with synthetic production– an infatuation that all but buries the sax and hang drum rambling of their tube station busking days.

Logic would suggest that the switch from their incomparable roots to a more contemporary electronic aesthetic (Flying Lotus, Burial and the Ninja Tune family spring to mind) would leave Portico Quartet’s uniqueness feeling spent, but there is absolutely nothing tired about their latest offering – the edges of the experimental digi-field are still way too out of sight for creative clever-clogs like these guys to get stuck in.

A rich pool of resources can be heard deep below the surface of ‘Portico Quartet’ - various world music’s, deep house (‘City Of Glass’), free jazz (the manic drums in ‘Rubidium’) and Stockhausen-style avant garde (‘Trace’) are telling of an eclectic and intriguing listening diet.

This is 48 mins of your life you can get totally lost in – the delicate, cinematic collage of fascinating timbres and ideas is worth every second. It’s bigger, stranger and wilder than anything they’ve done before, spacious and yet totally saturated with colour. Rarely is an album this transcendent - it doesn’t get much better than this.