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Terrain

by Portico Quartet

supported by
polinos
polinos thumbnail
polinos Difficult to categorize music at the intersection of jazz, ambient, minimalism and fourth world. No matter, 'Terrain' offers a mesmerizing ride along the quartets own road towards sonic bliss.
zelivebattery
zelivebattery thumbnail
zelivebattery Terrain: I has become my favorite song from this great band. Every time I listen to it it levels me out. Please make more like this!
dj-yogi
dj-yogi thumbnail
dj-yogi Beautiful album. I can't have enough. It follows the trend from We Welcome Tomorrow towards more modern classical/minimalistic spaces. Favorite track: Terrain: I.
mikina007
mikina007 thumbnail
mikina007 Prague, Karlak square, Sep 9, 2021.
A gig of the year! A live show of the decade!
Thank you, guys! Transcendental experience.
Positive vibes still remian in my mind.
more...
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  • Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Including Printed Inner Sleeve. Artwork and Design by Duncan Bellamy for Veil Projects

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  • Compact Disc (CD) + Digital Album

    Artwork and Design by Duncan Bellamy for Veil Projects

    Includes unlimited streaming of Terrain via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.
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  • Limited Edition Clear 12" Vinyl
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    In celebration of our up coming ‘Terrain’ live concert on October 29th at St John at Hackney in London we’ve made a special Transparent clear vinyl pressing (500x only)

    Includes unlimited streaming of Terrain via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

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  • Limited Transparent Orange Vinyl Edition
    Record/Vinyl + Digital Album

    Including Printed Inner Sleeve. Artwork and Design by Duncan Bellamy for Veil Projects

    Includes unlimited streaming of Terrain via the free Bandcamp app, plus high-quality download in MP3, FLAC and more.

    Sold Out

1.
Terrain: I 19:18
2.
Terrain: II 09:16
3.
Terrain: III 10:10

about

Portico Quartet announce Terrain, a three-part suite drawing on American minimalism and ambient music alongside their own rich heritage as they explore new musical vistas

When Duncan Bellamy and Jack Wyllie – the driving force behind Portico Quartet got together in their East London studio in May 2020 and started work on the music that would become their new album, the world, or most of it, was in the midst of the first lockdown. The unique impact of the events of 2020 became the backdrop to their time composing and recording; causing them to take stock, re-think, and plot a new musical path.

Indian novelist Arundhati Roy expressed the sense of grief and rupture from the pandemic as "a portal, a gateway between one world and the next", and as they created the music that would become Terrain they were drawn towards longer, slowly unfolding pieces, which are perhaps the most artistically free and also the most beautiful they have ever made.

These are compositions more in the lineage of Line and Shed Song (Isla/2009), Rubidium (Portico Quartet/2012) and Immediately Visible (Memory Streams/2019). Wyllie expands: "We've always had this side of the band in some form. The core of it is having a repeated pattern, around which other parts move in and out, and start to form a narrative. We used to do longer improvisations not dissimilar to this around the time of our second record Isla. On Terrain we've really dug into it and explored that form. I suppose there are obvious influences such as American minimalism, but I was particularly inspired by the work of Japanese composer Midori Takada. Her approach, particularly on 'Through the Looking Glass', where she moves through different worlds incorporating elements of minimalism with non-Western instruments and melodies were at the front of my mind when writing this music".

Terrain I, II & III are all subtly different, but a short rhythmic motif that repeats is the starting point in all three movements. There is a sense of a shared journey to all these pieces, they move through different worlds, with a sense of horizontal movement that lends the music real momentum. Terrain I was the first piece they worked on and it started with a hang drum pattern, improvised by Bellamy, who added cymbals and synthesiser. From there on it grew, Wyllie adding saxophone, another synthesiser section, strings. For Bellamy "It felt more like filmmaking than music making, a bricolage of conflicting, shifting signs, subtle tension and multiple narratives. Andrei Tarkovsky's 'Mirror' and British artist John Akomfrah's incredible 'Handsworth Songs' were pivotal points of reference for me." Wyllie expands the point. "There is a sense of conversation between us both, in that someone presents a musical idea, the other person responds to it with something else, which would then be responded to again... until it feels finished. These responses are often consonant with each other but there is also a dissonance to some of this work. The music slowly evolves through these shared conversations."

It is this sense of dialogue, both between the composers, and between tranquillity and a subtly unsettling melancholy, that makes Terrain such a powerful statement. One that speaks to both our interior and exterior worlds, to our own personal landscape, to our Terrain.

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This release was uploaded at 24 bit / 44.1 kHz and available in FLAC, WAV, AIFF or MP3 and available in FLAC, WAV, AIFF or MP3.

credits

released May 28, 2021

2021, Gondwana Records

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about

Portico Quartet London, UK

Portico Quartet have defied categorisation over the course of six studio albums.

Their new electronic driven album Monument shows the band at their most direct, with a streamlined, rhythmic sound.

Full of precisely sculpted ideas combining human touch with electronic efficiency, ‘Monument’ displays the acclaimed widescreen minimalists at their best.
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