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Portico Quartet on Wikipedia
Portico Quartet
Portico Quartet logo 2017.pngPortico Quartet's logo as of 2017
Background information
Also known asPortico (2015-2016)
OriginLondon, UK
GenresModern ensemble jazz, folk, ambient (before 2015 and after 2016)
Alternative, electronic, ambient, synthpop (2015-2016)
Years active2005 to present
LabelsBabel Label (2005-2014)
Real World (2009-2014)
Ninja Tune (2014-2016)
Gondwana Records (from 2017)
MembersDuncan Bellamy
Milo Fitzpatrick
Jack Wylie
Past membersNick Mulvey (original member)
Keir Vine

Portico Quartet (briefly Portico in the years 2015 and 2016) are a band from London. The group is composed of Jack Wylie (soprano and tenor saxophone), Duncan Bellamy (Hang and drums), and Milo Fitzpatrick (double bass). Keir Vine (keyboards) had replaced Nick Mulvey (Hang and percussion), who left in early 2011 to pursue his career as a singer-songwriter. Vine then left the group on 1 August 2014.

The 'Portico' moniker comes from when one of their gigs was rained off in Italy, and they ended up playing under a portico.[1]

The group is know of their use of the Hang in their modern jazz pieces. Their debut album Knee-deep in the North Sea, was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Prize.[2]


  • 1 History
  • 2 Music style
  • 3 Albums
    • 3.1 As Portico Quartet (before 2014)
      • 3.1.1 Knee-deep In The North Sea
      • 3.1.2 Isla
      • 3.1.3 Portico Quartet
      • 3.1.4 Live/Remix
    • 3.2 As Portico (2014-2016)
      • 3.2.1 Living Fields
    • 3.3 As Portico Quartet (after 2016)
      • 3.3.1 [title TBD]
  • 4 Singles
    • 4.1 EP 01 Abbey Road (2009)
    • 4.2 Line (2009)
    • 4.3 EP2 (2011)
    • 4.4 Steepless (2012)
  • 5 References
  • 6 External links


The band formed whilst their original members were studying ethnomusicology at the School of Oriental and African Studies in around 2005.

After nearly two years of playing mainly small gigs and busking regularly outside the National Theatre in London, they signed to Babel Label in 2007. Their first album, Knee-Deep in the North Sea, was released on 5 November 2007.[3]

In September 2014, after Vine left the group, the band changed their name to Portico, dropping the word 'Quartet' from their name, and completely changed their musical style. It was also announced that the band were signing to Ninja Tune.[4]

On 28 December 2016, the band officially indicated that they were to go back to being Portico Quartet (they did drop some subtle hints earlier in the year) and began recording a new album. As of April 2017, the identity of the fourth member of the band has yet to be confirmed. The band also changed record company to Gondwana Records.

Music style

Their first two albums' musical style was a mixture of jazz and folk. The Hang is used to full effect in their music and is coupled with Wylie's saxophone tune. This 'modern ensemble jazz' has been encompassed by other contemporaries such as GoGo Penguin, etc.

For their subsequent albums, they went in a completely different direction, turning to electronic, synthpop and ambient genres. The Hang was abandoned at this point and the music developed into a more experimental and modern-sounding approach.

Their Living Fields album during the time in which they changed their name to 'Portico', went even further away from this; the resulting sound had similarities with other alternative artists such as James Blake, etc. However, this album was not well received by people more familiar with their original material during their Quartet period. For this time, Wylie played the keyboards, Fitzpatrick the bass electric guitar and Bellamy the drums.

After returning back to their Quartet guise, they went back to their original music style.

Knee-deep In The North Sea

The band's debut album Knee-Deep in the North Sea was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize.[5] The week after the awards show it debuted on the UK Top 200 Albums Chart at #186.[6] It was Time Out's best jazz album of 2007. It was re-released by Real World Records on 31 January 2011. The album has been remixed by John Leckie and was the first time sold on vinyl and as deluxe edition with three extra (live) tracks on CD.


Recorded and Mixed at Livingston Studios, London on 7, 8, 9 February and 6, 7, 8 August 2007
Produced by Portico Quartet
Co-Produced, Engineered and Mixed by Sonny.
Assisted by Kevin James Feazey and Simone Filiali
Mastered by Andrew Tulloch at The Blue Studio, London
Executive Producers Oliver Weindling and Will Gresford
Design, Artwork and collages by Duncan Bellamy
Photograph by Matt Crossick

Track listing

All tracks composed, arranged and performed by Portico Quartet.

  1. "News From Verona" – 4:24
  2. "(Something's Going Down on) Zavodovski Island" – 4:22
  3. "Knee-Deep In The North Sea" – 4:52
  4. "Too Many Cooks" – 5:32
  5. "Steps In The Wrong Direction" – 6:09
  6. "Monsoon: Top To Bottom" – 4:14
  7. "The Kon Tiki Expedition" – 4:29
  8. "Cittàgazze" – 4:47
  9. "Pompidou" – 3:08

(Hidden Track: "Prickly Pear" - 5:47)


The band's second album Isla was released by Real World Records on 9 October 2009.


Recorded at Abbey Road Studios and Fish Factory Studios, May 2009
Produced by John Leckie, assisted by Chris Bolster at Abbey and Desmond Lambert at Fish Factory
Mixed by John Leckie and Portico Quartet
except Shed Song (Improv. 1), recorded at the end of our garden, 20.01.09
Mixed at Real World Studios, assisted by Robin Baynton
Mastered by Steve Rooke at Abbey Road Studios
Painting, artwork and design by Duncan Bellamy

Track listing

All tracks composed, arranged and performed by Portico Quartet.

  1. "Paper Scissors Stone" – 5:27
  2. "The Visitor" – 5:31
  3. "Dawn Patrol" – 6:00
  4. "Line" – 7:30
  5. "Life Mask (Interlude)" – 1:16
  6. "Clipper" – 6:31
  7. "Life Mask" – 7:17
  8. "Isla" – 5:09
  9. "Shed Song (Improv. No 1)" – 8:23

(Bonus Download Track: "Su-Bo's Mental Meltdown" - 5:50)

Portico Quartet

The band's eponymous third album was released by Real World Records on 30 January 2012.


Recorded at Fish Factory Studios, August 2011
Produced by Portico Quartet
Mixed at Real World Studios by Greg Freeman and Portico Quartet
Mastered by Mandy Parnell at Black Saloon
Artwork and design by Duncan Bellamy

Track listing

All tracks composed, arranged and performed by Portico Quartet (except 'Steepless' written by Cornelia Dahlgren and Portico Quartet).

  1. "Window Seat" – 3:18
  2. "Ruins" – 5:34
  3. "Spinner" – 4:39
  4. "Rubidium" – 8:44
  5. "Export For Hot Climates" – 1:08
  6. "Laker Boo" - 7:51
  7. "Steepless ft. Cornelia" – 3:57
  8. "4096 Colours" - 4:35
  9. "City of Glass" - 6:36
  10. "Trace" - 1:53


This is the band's fourth album. Live/Remix is a double album offering a unique insight into two distinct parts of the band's personality. Live catches the band on tour in 2012 and features tracks from last year's eponymous album, Portico Quartet, as well as new arrangements of old favorites 'Clipper' and 'Dawn Patrol'. Remix, curated by Portico Quartet, features mixes of their music by some of the band's favourite producers and DJs. It is at this point the band begins to step in a new direction with their music which would result in the change in style.


Recorded on Portico's 2012 Tour
Produced by Portico Quartet and Kerstan Mackness
Mixed at Real World Studios by Greg Freeman and Portico Quartet
Artwork and Design by Duncan Bellamy

Track listing

All tracks composed, arranged and performed by Portico Quartet (except 'Steepless' written by Cornelia Dahlgren and Portico Quartet).


  1. "Window Seat" - 4:11
  2. "City of Glass" - 8:50
  3. "Rubidium" - 12:56
  4. "Ruins" - 6:15
  5. "Clipper" - 7:04
  6. "4096 Colours" - 6:58
  7. "Laker Boo" - 10:09
  8. "Steepless" (ft. Cornelia) - 8:07
  9. "Dawn Patrol" - 8:16
  10. "Dawn Patrol (Alt. Ending)" - 4:56


  1. "Window Seat (Will Ward / Circle Traps Remix)" - 3:21
  2. "Line (SBTRKT Remix)" - 6:03
  3. "Rubidium (Luke Abbott Remix)" - 4:56
  4. "Laker Boo (DVA HI:EMOTIONS Remix)" - 3:43
  5. "City of Glass (L.V. Remix)" - 4:50
  6. "Steepless (Capac Remix)" (ft. Cornelia) - 5:25
  7. "4096 Colours (Knox Om Pax Remix)" - 8:22
  8. "Laker Boo (Luca Lozano Black and White Remix)" - 7:36
  9. "Steepless (Radio Edit / PQ Remix)" (ft. Cornelia) - 3:25

Living Fields

The band's only album under their new name and musical style features vocals from Jono McCleery, Jamie Woon, and Joe Newman of alt-J.[7] The first single, "Bright Luck" (ft. Jono McCleery) was debuted in November 2014, and "101" (ft. Joe Newman) was premiered in January 2015. The album was released on 6 April 2015.[8]

Track listing
  1. "Living Fields" (ft. Jono McCleery)
  2. "101" (ft. Joe Newman)
  3. "Where You Are" (ft. Jono McCleery)
  4. "Atacama" (ft. Joe Newman)
  5. "Colour Fading" (ft. Jono McCleery)
  6. "Dissolution"
  7. "Bright Luck" (ft. Jono McCleery)
  8. "Brittle" (ft. Joe Newman)
  9. "Memory of Newness" (ft. Jamie Woon)

[title TBD]

Development for this new album after returning back to their Quartet guise began in late 2016 and is set to be finished in 2017.


In addition to the albums, the band has also released some singles and EPs from time to time.

EP 01 Abbey Road (2009)

  1. "The Full Catastrophe"
  2. "Line (Alternate Take 5)"
  3. "Cap Gun"
  4. "Su-Bo's Mental Meltdown"

Line (2009)

  1. "Line - Sbtrkt 'More Hang' Mix"
  2. "Line - Sbtrkt 'Less Hang' Mix"
  3. "Line - Alternate Take 5"

EP2 (2011)

  1. "Coy Carp"
  2. "Sock Puppets"
  3. "Vtol"
  4. "Steepless - PQ Edit" (feat. Cornelia)
  5. "Train to Montauk"

Steepless (2012)

  1. "Steepless - Radio Edit" (feat. Cornelia)
  2. "Steepless - Capac Remix" (feat. Cornelia)
  3. "Laker Boo - DVA's Hi:Emotions Remix"
  4. "Laker Boo - Luca Lozano and White Remix"


  1. ^ https://twitter.com/porticoquartet/status/119085698996379649
  2. ^ "Mercury Music Prize 2008 Nominations". 
  3. ^ "Portico Quartet @ Babel Label". Babel Label. Retrieved 2007-10-14. 
  4. ^ http://ninjatune.net/article/2014/sep/23/portico-sign-to-ninja-tune-announce-autumn-eu-tour
  5. ^ Bearded magazine
  6. ^ "Official Album Chart for the week ending 20 September 2008". ChartsPlus. Milton Keynes: IQ Ware Ltd (369): 5–8.  |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  7. ^ http://ninjatune.net/article/2014/nov/24/portico-new-album-living-fields-released-23-march-2015-hear-inch-bright-luck-inch#.VNuuF1PF9tI
  8. ^ http://ninjatune.net/release/portico/living-fields

External links

  • Official Website
  • Portico Quartet live review (musicOMH.com)
  • Artist page from Babel Vortex label
  • Article on Portico Quartet on odemagazine.com
  • Interview with the band in the Guardian
  • Reader's review in the Independent
  • Video on crisscross-jazz.com

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