Album: Portico Quartet, Portico Quartet (Real World)

In places, Portico Quartet's third album recalls old-school jazz-funk, from the chamber-jazz end of the spectrum rather than the party end.

With their throbbing, cyclical rhythms, shivering string and synth parts, and slightly eastern-tinged reed timbres, "Spinner", "Rubidium" and "Ruins" recall Eberhard Weber's Yellow Fields; although "Spinner" is saved from tedium only by the hurricane synths of its later stages. Elsewhere, the schematic beat-building of "Laker Boo" is compensated for by the subtlety of "Window Seat" – minimalist vibrato keyboards, smudges of strings – and "4096 Colours", where the wistful horn occupies a spacious, cathedral-like ambience that shifts imperceptibly from natural to electronic sounds, as if the synthetic fabric of the universe were tearing apart.

DOWNLOAD THIS Window Seat; 4096 Colours; Ruins