Living Fields proves the theory. If you have quality production; sparse, understated and stripped back can work. Less can be more when you have well produced, complex sounds. This isn’t just another rip from a Native Instruments library that we’ve heard so many times before. These well-curated arpeggiated synths are particularly effective in the track ‘Colour Fading‘. The haunting vocals of Jo Newman and Jono McCleery heavily complement one another and juxtapose the energetic fluid and fast moving dance beats. If you like Jamie XX, SBTRKT, Floating Points or Little Dragon; chances are you’re probably gonna dig Portico.
The group is comprised of Duncan Bellamy, Milo Fitzpatrick and Jack Wylie who are three-quarters of the highly successful and critically acclaimed Portico Quartet.
However, as far as the band is concerned when they reformed, this signified a move away from their previous works. In fact, they view Living Fields as a debut album. For what it’s worth, it seems as though Portico saved the best until last in the track ‘Memory of Newness’. Here, we are blessed with another vocalist Jamie Woon who brings a certain urban edge with a little soul. Jamie’s vocal provides a warmer ending and a great way to finish. Different Jamie’s previous work, it’s as if Portico put him in the recording booth via a meditation session; the result is womb-like.
A great listen on a Sunday evening. A couple of glasses of red wine with your other half on the sofa to the sounds of Living Fields – that will do nicely, thanks.
The album is out on Ninja Tune now and you can grab yourself a copy here.
Written by Nadina Mustafa / @Nadina_Music