Album Review: Art in the Age of Automation by Portico Quartet
Very Good, Based on 5 Critics
Drowned In Sound - 80 Based on rating 8/10
Our sound falls between many genres, jazz, electronic music even minimalism in places, but naturally it’s an amalgamation of everything we’ve listened to'. That's Portico Quartet’s Jack Wyllie describing the sound of their new album Art in the Age of Automation. And he is right. Portico Quartet albums have always been hard to describe and define, but that’s is also part of their unending charm.
It is nearly a decade since the distinctive, enchanting sound of the hang pulled many of us in to the world of the Portico Quartet for the first time. Since then the group have developed more of an electronic foundation for their work. The line-up has changed, and while the hang remains an integral part of their sound, the rhythms elsewhere have assumed more prominence.
An eclectic, versatile singer whose stylistic range spans ragtime, swing, blues, bebop and cutting-edge avant-garde jazz, Norway’s KARIN KROG is as well-respected internationally as in her native country. She recently celebrated her 80th birthday and released to coincide with that momentous milestone is a fabulous box set, The Many Faces Of Karin Krog (**** Odin). Understandably, it’s considerably wider in scope than Light In The Attic’s superb left field-slanted 2015 anthology, Don’t Just Sing, and its sixthemed CDs focus in depth on different facets of the singer’s career during the years 1967-2017.
Album number four from the Mercury Prize-nominated Portico Quartet finds the group continuing their brand of fusing of jazz with electronics, producing pieces of cinematic grandeur as often as music that seems perfectly designed to soundtrack a chilled-out, post-club Balearic sunrise. There.