Portico Quartet top 10 favourite recordings

Portico Quartet, Jack Wylie

We’ve been asking Society of Sound artists and Fellows for 10 tracks that really stand out in terms of the way they’ve been recorded.

Here’s a list from Society of Sound Artists Portico Quartet’s Jack Wyllie:

(spot the obvious mistake..)

1 This must be the place (naïve melody) – Talking heads

A bit of classic pop. A compulsive groove that keeps on giving through the whole piece, cracking melodies speckle the tune throughout. Some slightly out of tune budget sounds give this tune extra character

2 Necks – Townsville

An hour long epic, every thing the necks have done has been completely improvised. In this latest album the trio (piano, bass and kit) move towards more minimalist inspired groves.

3 Structural functions of presence – David Torn.

A relentless innovator. In this tune torn takes a lengthy improvised session, where the saxophone is sampled live through the guitar, and works wonders with it in post production.

4 Arch angel – Burial .

Burial completely blew up in 2008. His urban London inspired soundscapes were are created through interesting sampling methods like recording a mobile phone vibrating through a table to make a hefty bassline. These tunes have made many a bus journey in the rain incredibly enjoyable, a hood up and big headphones on this provides a perfect London soundscape.

6. Conversacion – Cachaito

Recoded by the same engineer that worked on our album, ‘Knee-Deep In The North Sea’, this recording has great space to it, it takes me back to smoking cigars listening to old timers playing on a street corner in Havana but introduces modern duby twists.

7 Vagualy asian – John Taylor

A professor at the RA, john taylor introduces some intresting techniques on this track playing the inside of the piano. The recording and microphone placement make you feel like you are sitting inside the piano.

8. Lilac Wine- Jeff Buckley.

A wonderful sounding piece of music- clear and ethereal with a heady lightness. Deceptively detailed and yet every part has its own space. Amazing guitar harmonics…

9. The Bucket- Kings of Leon.

A great track, perfectly encapsulating the sonic mix that this band do so well- rock muscularity meets a quirky sensitivity.

10. My Favourite Things- John Coltrane.

Not a technically amazing recording, but a vintage classic. Raw and deep, the sum of the parts make a glorious, warm and pulsating whole. Keeps on giving.


  • Paula says:

    Really eclectic mix – but not surprising given their music! Never heard of some of these artists and am definitely going to investigate Cachaito.

  • ted says:

    I agree – a really interesting list, written by someone who obviously knows their music! I especially like the sound (and description) of Burial.

  • Jon says:

    An interesting bunch of tracks – might need something stronger than a cigar to get the full benefit…

  • Knockin Guy says:

    Yes interesting – but even after repeated tries it doesn’t work for me. I have posted two comments now on the ‘free’ EPs; I am afraid neither of the offerings I have heard have been ‘mainstream’ enough for me. I do sing and play rock so not coming to this as a non-musician. Guess it’s just too intellectual for me. Music for fellow jazz composers I guess.

  • Erik says:

    I really enjoyed their music, and after not being able to download it here on B&W I went to itunes for it.

  • SusannaGrant says:

    Hi Erik,
    I’m so sorry you had a problem downloading the music, could you let me know what the problem was and I’ll ensure that you can access the music.
    Susanna B&W

  • Joe says:

    Arch Angel

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