Friday, February 6, 2015

Portico feat. Alt-J's Joe Newman: "101"

Despite the fact that Portico (Quartet) have been making music for over 10 years, you might not have heard the progressive London-based instrumental jazz group. Like so many of the instrumental greats, they're not headed for chart-topping territory anytime soon, but that doesn't take away from their longevity and experimental greatness.

In fact, if you listen to a lot of your favourite prog-rock bands, you'll likely hear a bit of Portico's influence in there. Take Alt-J, for instance - one of the quintessential art-rock groups of our time - whose music is always a fusion of beautiful instrument use and auditory risks. Their unique brand of unconformity is one of the reasons I wasn't surprised to hear that Alt-J's formidable frontman, Joe Newman, was featured on Portico's comeback single."101," off the trio's new album Living Fields, is a creative trip packed with gloomy Radiohead-sounding sonics and echoey beats, made even better by Newman's distinctive croon.

Both nominees of the esteemed Mercury Prize (Alt-J were winners), this hypnotic collaboration a match made in electronica heaven.

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