Portico Quartet
Portico Quartet


4.0
excellent

Review

by Cultclassical USER (51 Reviews)
September 27th, 2012 | 20 replies


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Hang em' high...

Relaxing music is the best. It doesn’t require one to have to “work” and finding all the intricacies in the songs to fully appreciate the music, nor does one care if there are other groups doing the same thing. All that matters is you are listening to it and you allow the sonic waves to wash over you as you calmly lounge and do nothing. That is not to say it’s boring music as groups like Submotion Orchestra have shown the ability to write both relaxing and subtly nuanced music. Portico Quartet are a London based instrumental electronic/jazz ensemble that have created an excellent piece of minimalistic jazzy goodness for you to lose yourself in.

Portico Quartet distinguish themselves from the crowd by use of a relatively new Swiss instrument called a Hang, a UFO shaped percussion instrument. Songs like “Rubidium” and “Lacker Boo” showcase this instrument beautifully as its distinct tones echo throughout the songs. Its use is no gimmick though as it’s never used to the point where you grow tired of hearing it. The other instruments, from the sax to the stand-up bass to the piano are all masterfully executed and written in each song artfully weaving seamlessly with the electronic bits in a way that no one instrument stands out too much at any one time (except solos obviously) yet no instrument is ever drowned out by the others. The songs themselves are no genre-bending affairs but have a good amount of catchy hooks and intros like the Hang solo that begins “Rubidium” or the sax in “Ruins” that counter-balances the dronier, minimalistic portions of the album notably near the end.

Thankfully these dronier parts of the album don’t drag on for minutes at a time. Instead they are more often used as a post-rock like interlude between parts of songs with a notable exception being the songs “4096 colours” and “Trace” which are mainly drone. The percussion, other than the Hang, is a focal point on this record. Centered around simple catchy beats with nothing that could be remotely called technical, it does a fantastic job of holding all of the songs together with it fading into the background just enough to let the other instruments shine only to come back and provide a nice jazzy or salsa-y flavor to a song. The only major gripe with the whole album is the decision to add another same-y boring female singer onto one of the songs. Honestly this gives the song a very Submotion feel, but the singer is not only bad, she’s useless. A girl whining over music isn’t a good idea, and thankfully she doesn’t exactly ruin the song and she only shows up once.

This album is the epitome of relaxing, its slowly moving portions will wisk you right into a calm stupor until the sheer catchiness of the music wakes you and causes you to listen carefully at the propensity of the musicians. If you need music to a fancy meal or an elite dinner party this album has all the relaxing and toe-tapping you need.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
Calc
September 27th 2012


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Dumb summary I know. This review has my fluffiest language yet loved by so many reviewers here but I hope Deviant doesn't see it he'll prolly rip me a new one lol

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CaptainDooRight
September 27th 2012


29436 Comments


cool band, i got this a while back, sporactic but not always emotional but still good

Digging: Blut Aus Nord - Memoria Vetusta III ? Saturnian Poetry

CaptainDooRight
September 27th 2012


29436 Comments


pos on the rev bro, gd read

Calc
September 27th 2012


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

@Capt

its that lack of emotion combined with a lack of wow factor that makes this a 4 for me. I know this reads higher than a 4

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
September 27th 2012


19791 Comments


prolly the best review I've read by you calc, have a pos.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

Calc
September 27th 2012


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well thank you sir, thank you very much

Sniff
September 27th 2012


1162 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Great fr8train of a record

zxlkho
September 27th 2012


3465 Comments


amazing album

Alucard125
September 27th 2012


534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Good review, started listening to this a few days ago. I think it's my favourite by them, and I got to see it all live a few months back.

Calc
September 27th 2012


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

you lucky so and so.

Eclecticist
September 27th 2012


3863 Comments


"have proven to be both relaxing and quite nuanced and their songwriting."

needs revision.

"Its use is no gimmick though as it’s never used to the point where it becomes obvious the group is trying to be different for the sake of being different."

So you mean like, being novel?

"with a notable exception being the songs “4096 colours” and “Trace” which are mainly drone."

Those are two notable exceptions.

"This album is the epitome is relaxing"

of*

I am withholding a pos' because there are a lot of quirks and there is no flow to the review. However, I like that you gave this album a positive review and that your dp is fallout related.

Calc
September 27th 2012


12212 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fixed
fixed
can be seen both ways seems nitpicky
fixed

thank you for the feedback

mindleviticus
September 27th 2012


8237 Comments


good review, I was bored as fuck by this to be honest

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chesse13
October 14th 2012


3450 Comments


i totally forgot to listen to this. do these guys have the electronic influence or is that something else?


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ChuckyTruant
November 4th 2012


15719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

where can I find this

Digging: The Contortionist - Language

Omaha
Staff Reviewer
December 2nd 2012


10211 Comments


Interesting album.

osmark86
March 28th 2013


4214 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

^spotify.

YankeeDudel
April 7th 2013


9313 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

pretty cool band. listening to Isla now n its chillin me.

Digging: Coroner - Mental Vortex

ChuckyTruant
April 7th 2013


15719 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

yeah its sweet

osmark86
February 11th 2014


4214 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

sho is. Ruins is such a damn excellent tune.



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