Former Mercury Prize nominees Portico Quartet deliver their fifth studio album. While the London band have always strived to differentiate their sound from record to record, 'Memory Streams' may represent the most dramatic sonic shift yet, embracing ambient and electronic influences into their minimalistic jazz approach.
CD £11.99 GONDCD034
CD on Gondwana Records.
Limited Vinyl LP £24.99 GONDLP034DNK
Dinked Edition, translucent blue vinyl LP in spot gloss cover. Includes poster of the album artwork designed by Duncan Bellamy. Limited to 500 copies.
- Coloured vinyl
- Limited edition
Vinyl LP £19.99 GONDLP034SE
Black vinyl LP on Gondwana Records.
Portico Quartet's fifth album 'Memory Streams' is a hushed and ethereal exploration of a sweet spot between ambient music and experimental jazz.
I really like the general fidelity of this record. You can hear the odd blast of recording hiss and it feels very immediate. My favourite piece is 'Ways of Seeing' which has frenetic drum rhythms ticking away in the background as well as small, sparse, distant loops that coagulate into a beautiful maelstrom of sound. 'With, Beside, Against' is a superb opener. It's a song of two halves, with the first half building to a climax before falling away into waves of gradually thinning ambience.
If this record was less acoustic sounding then I think the nebulous quality of 'Memory Streams' would be lost. When listening to this record, you can almost drift between instruments and just listen to combinations such as hang and piano, percussion and synth, piano and white noise. It's a really interesting and dynamic way of arranging a record.
'Memory Streams' is a record that feels like a sound collage. Melody lines, sax honks, drum fills, ambient washes seem like they've been plucked from unfinished projects and been thrown together into something enjoyably slapdash (NOT A CRITICISM, REPEAT, NOT A CRITICISM).
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