Released: 4th October 2019
Dinked Edition #27:
Translucent blue vinyl LP
Poster of album artwork designed by Duncan Bellamy
Spot gloss cover
Limited to 500 copies
Portico Quartet return with Memory Streams, their fifth studio album and one that continues the journey that first started with 2008's Mercury nominated debut Knee Deep in the North Sea. It's a creative path that has seen the band embrace new technology and explore ambient and electronic influences alongside
minimalism, jazz and beyond. It is a process that has encouraged change. Each album has seen the band expand its palate or explore new trajectories. From the gentle charm of their breakthrough's inimitable mix of jazz, world and minimalist influences, to the tight-knit brilliance of Isla, the electronic infused eponymous Portico Quartet to 2016's return Art in the Age of Automation (the band's most electronic statement to date)
they have never been a band to look backwards. Each record has been its own world, its own statement and offered its own meaning. It's the mark of a band that has always both stood apart from any scene and been prepared to challenge its self and find new things to say and to push the limits of what they could do.
It is an approach that has encouraged the band to plough their own furrow. Drummer Duncan Bellamy notes that "For better or worse I think we have always been quite an isolated band. Perhaps that comes from never feeling like we really belonged to or fit in to a scene when we first started making music" While for saxophonist Jack Wyllie " I feel more connected to other musicians these days and those relationships
influence the sound we have in some way. But I wouldn't say we feel a part of scene, it still feels quite out on its own, which is cool, because it helps the music feel unique".
Sonically, the album embraces the classic Portico Quartet sound pallet of drums, saxophone, bass and Hang-Drums, but nonetheless the sound has modulated, become more modern, whilst still channelling the beauty and mystery which has always marked the very best of Portico Quartet's music. It's the sound of a band at ease with its self who after a dozen years of recording and playing together are able to simultaneously explore and embrace their own identity.
Memory Streams also marks a return to a more predominantly band orientated sound than AITAOA and its partner release, the mini-album Untitled. Bellamy says "we wanted to create something that had texture, fibre and space to it. Something that felt vivid, real and alive". During recording the band re-amped a lot of the sounds on the record, a process which lends a sense of depth and spaciousness to the sound. Wyllie adds,
"We tried to reduce the pallet to what really identified the band and also as a way to help us write - it's not easy if you have unlimited possibilities. But it was also was an interesting challenge."