Sunday, 20 October 2013

Music: Interview with Portico Quartet

New-jazz outfit Portico Quartet have come along way since their 2008 Mercury Prize-nominated album Knee Deep in the North Sea.

Their latest record Live/Remix saw the group moving into the realms of electronic music, while still retaining their jazz sensibilities.

"We're always trying new things, and making changes is a good way to keep things creative," says saxophonist jack Wyllie.

"I guess the kind of music we've all been listening to has filtered into what we're trying to make.

"For the next album, we're doing a lot of work on computer which is a completely new process for us, " says jack.

"It's less about jamming stuff out and more about playing around with the production."

The group became associated with percussive instrument, the Hang, which gave the group's sound a unique metallic quality.

"Moving away from the Hang was quite an important step for us, " says jack.

"We became defined by it so heavily that it became really quite frustrating for us.

"Being defined so much by an instrument drove us to want to change things, and bring in new sounds to do the role.

"The instrumentation has definitely become more about electronic sounds and their relationship with acoustic instruments, " adds jack.

It is in the live arena, however, where Portico Quartet are at their most comfortable.

"We evolve our songs when we play live, so they always end up much stronger than on the record," says Jack.

"The improvised jazz element will always remain."

This article was published by the Yorkshire Post on October 18, 2013.

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