In January 2012, Portico Quartet graced the world with their eponymous third album. It’s safe to say it’s a powerful and ambitious piece of work, pushing the boundaries of jazz, trip-hop and general groove with a passion and flair, making these London based aficionado’s stand out.
The Quartet offer up a skilful blend of ambiance, serene grace and an ethereal union of strings. It gives us an atmospheric pressure to relax and reflect. The first half of this album is a display of intricate groove and innocent beauty. It screams compositional skill. Jack Wyllies solidifies his status as a prolific free form sax player, Milo Fitzpatrick’s gentle bass playing is simply inspired, and Keir Vines and Duncan Bellamy’s sparse rhythms, and intriguing interplay are a driving force behind this almost unexplored territory
"Rubidium", the nine minute centre piece, holds a special place in my heart, it boasts an afro calypso groove, which is pure delight, yet slightly jarring, setting Bellamy up for a prolific display of stick work. Other highlights of this release include the vibrant pulsation of "Lacker Boo", a sweet selection for any house party, and the delicious song "Steepless", a collaboration with Swedish singer Cornelia. A delicate airy vocalist, whose sweet yet ballsy dynamic fits perfectly into the Quartet's sensual style.
This album pushes the limits, challenging you to expect musical evolution for what it is; an amazing thing. These four Londoners are definitely skilled and masters of their craft. Vines’ expressive delivery of the little known hang alone makes these worth at least checking out, and I for one can’t wait for their fourth release.
1. Window Seat
5. Export for Hot Climates
6. Lacker Boo
8. 4096 Colours
9. City of Glass