Portishead’s Geoff Barrow has perfected the creepy ambient, slightly Dadaistic sound. On his side project’s self-titled debut, Beak>, Barrow takes the dark part of Portishead’s sound deeper into the cacophonous recesses of your mind and brings all your nightmares into the waking conscious.
“Pill” is an ambient nightmare with a bass line that is about five notes leading the almost seven-minute eternity that sounds like a march to the grave. “Ham Green” starts out as another dark, bass guitar-droning tune, but about three-and-a-half minutes in, it unexpectedly breaks into a slower instrumental version of Jay-Z’s “99 Problems,” only to go back to the bass guitar drone with some added random keyboard. It is bizarre indeed. The rest of the album is full of random electronic noises and beats that could be the backdrop to a lonely walk down a smog-blackened alley.
Portishead has always been known for its dark trip-hop. Geoff Barrow and Beak> have taken the darkness and left behind the trip-hop to create an ambient bass guitar-driven soundtrack to a horror film.
Invada Records: www.invada.co.uk