The excellent experimental / electronica download label XS Records of Portugal have several recent releases which I intend to stick in my two penn’orth about over the next few weeks. The first is a six track EP by Paulo Vicente, a Lisbon native who records under the name of Poros. Vicente is a bass player, and Labass is a collection of vignettes that feature the instrument with just the bare bones of accompaniment.
Poros operates in a space some way between early Rothko (the band) and Tortoise. The music is, on the whole, fairly laid back. “Veludo” and “Poros” skip along lightly in a slightly jazzy vein using programmed or real drums. “Anil” is a more downbeat and reflective track. “Ver O Ser” is darker, with glitchy field recordings and dub echoes. “Mutuo” is the most abstract piece, with the scratch of felt marker on paper providing a scribbling rhythm while the bass contorts into almost random squelchy sounds, all the time threatening to break into some heavy funk that never quite materialises.
Pick of the lot is the closer, “Cheiro”, a gorgeous melodic tune played over a simple, shuffling rhythm. It’s redolent of Boards of Canada in a funny kind of way. It’s a beautiful way to end a very pleasing EP. Sparks don’t fly, but this is a warm and varied little collection. It’s available as a free download from the XS website.
1. Veludo 2:53
2. Anil 2:46
3. Poros 4:20
4. Ver O Ser 2:51
5. Mutuo 3:30
6. Cheiro 2:33