Port-Royal established a signature sound when they released their debut album Flares
back in 2005. Incorporating ambience, trance, techno, post-rock, and a hint of funk into their music the quintet from Italy were able to create a unique vortex of sounds that no other electronica group could match. With Afraid to Dance
Port-Royal head for a more accessible and beat laden sound however they are still able to mix lo-key electronics and sweeping guitars into their music. Instead of sticking to the “quiet-loud-quiet-loud” formula that was found on Flares
, Afraid to Dance
explores a more adventurous and “jungle like” sound.
For the most part Afraid to Dance
is a laid-back, soothing album however Anya Sehsnsucht
, the two longest songs on the album are also the most upbeat and quirky. Hinting more towards techno then anything else Port-Royal mix dense beats with organic keyboard sounds creating a hypnotic, yet slightly repetitive sound. Fortunately the rest of the album relies on instrumental progression and lush textures instead of hypnotizing beats. Banhof Zoo
is a beautiful blend of a sublime guitar melody and eerie keyboard cadences, leaning more towards the likes of post-rock outfits such as Mogwai or early Stereolab. The rest of Afraid to Dance
includes the upbeat, Jack Johnson meets Shpongle (Roliga Timmen
) the sexy keyboard loops of Internet Love
and the spacey, psychadelic closer Putin Vs Valery
. The production perfectly captures the beauty of music, the end result is a gorgeous mishmash of soothing electronics and guitars. When they’re at their best Di Roberto's peaceful keyboard structures blend beautifully with Bruzzone’s soaring guitars but when they’re at their worst Port-Royal sound like any other bland, uninspired 90's techno outfit.