London's instrumental band Portico Quartet released a new album Monument via Gondwana Records, alongside the release of the new single Warm Data.
Portico Quartet has defied categorization 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 the human touch with electronic efficiency, Monument displays the acclaimed widescreen minimalists at their best. The album is a follow-up to their acclaimed ambient-minimalist suite Terrain, presenting the band at their most accessible, direct records to date. If Terrain addressed the darker side of how Duncan Bellamy and Jack Wyllie made sense of the pandemic, then Monument resonates as an ode to better times. If not quite a dance record, it nonetheless pulses with energy, radiance, and a scalpel-sharp focus. Jack Wyllie explains: It's possibly our most direct album to date. It's melodic, structured and there's an economy to it that is very efficient. There's not much searching or wastage within the music itself, it is all finalised ideas, precisely sculpted and presented as a polished artifact.
Bellamy expands: Monument sits somewhere between our albums Portico Quartet and Art in the Age of Automation. It has perhaps a more overtly electronic edge to its sound – there are more synthesizers and electronic elements than we have used before and the music is often streamlined and rhythmic.
Listen to Portico Quartetnew single Warm Data, from the band's new album Monument:
It's rare that a band releases two albums within six months of each other, rarer too that while both are so different, they are both as epochal in terms of the band's output as Terrain and Monument are to Portico Quartet. The irony is that Monument, a stripped-back, intentionally direct album, was the album that the band set out to write in May 2020, before the dream-like long-form Terrain came into focus. Briefly, they were two halves of the same record, but the band ended up developing these two distinct bodies of work concurrently. And although they were written side-by-side and recorded at the same sessions, they are records best understood as distinct from each other, each with opposing ideas and forms.
Watch below Portico Quartetnew single Warm Data, from the band's new album Monument:
Other wicked songs and projects worth checking this week:
Elusive - Delicate Beauty
Scrimshire, Miryam Solomon - Heron - Radio Edit
FKAjazz - No Lonely Nights
Makaya McCraven - Ecaroh
Myele Manzanza - Peaks & Ferns
Jimi Tenor, UMO Helsinki Jazz Orchestra - Jyrkänteellä