Music that’s both pleasingly familiar and thrillingly new.

Penguin Cafe + Portico Quartet

Penguin Cafe + Portico Quartet

6 - 21 Feb 2011

Penguin Cafe’s music has infiltrated daily life from films like Napoleon Dynamite to countless theme tunes, and they’ve played festivals from Bestival and The Big Chill to a sold out Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms.  Their sound is at once familiar and new, combining acoustic power and a beguiling, feisty charm.  Their quintessentially English sound is influenced by folk, bluegrass, avant garde classical music and pop, and has continuing cult status, especially for tunes such as ‘Telephone and Rubber Band’ or ‘Music for a Found Harmonium’. Penguin Café  led provide a fresh take on the original  adding new compositions to the repertoire as they go.

Electronica meets 21st century-jazz in Portico Quartet’s melodic, rhythmic music that mixes the inspiration of Philip Glass and Steve Reich with a very contemporary kind of improvisation. It’s the blend of ethereal saxophone, splattering electronics, otherworldly Hang, clattering drums and earthy double-bass that gives their music its unique sound. Their hook-laden, darkly atmospheric post-jazz has pushed them to the forefront of the contemporary music scene and got them nominated for a Mercury Music Prize - their inimitable sound has been compared to Radiohead, E.S.T and The Cinematic Orchestra.

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"Penguin Cafe continues to occupy a unique place in music: nothing else has ever sounded quite like it. Eccentric, charming, accommodating, surprising, seductive, warm, reliable, modest and unforgettable: it's a true friend." - Brian Eno

"This is music that is designed with a real generosity of spirit. (Penguin Cafe) " - The Guardian

"This unforgettable disc shimmers with brilliance.” (Portico Quartet)" - BBC Music Magazine

"Isla feeds on Steve Reich mathematics, Radiohead dread, African desert grooves and ECM melancholy to travel into a new, chiming cavernous sound-world that is both exotic and hypnotic **** (Portico Quartet)" - MOJO

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