Includes FREE MP3
of this album.
Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Available to Download Now
Buy the MP3 album for 6.21
Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available


Isla [Import]

Portico Quartet Audio CD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
Price: 13.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
 : Includes FREE MP3 version of this album.
   Does not apply to gift orders. See Terms and Conditions for important information about costs that may apply for the MP3 version in case of returns and cancellations.
Only 1 left in stock.
Dispatched from and sold by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Tuesday, 22 April? Choose Express delivery at checkout. Details
Complete your purchase to add the MP3 version to your Cloud Player. Provided by Amazon EU S. r.l.
Buy the MP3 album for 6.21 at the Amazon MP3 Downloads store.

Amazon's Portico Quartet Store


Image of album by Portico Quartet


Image of Portico Quartet


Electronica meets future-jazz in Portico Quartet’s melodic, rhythmic music that mixes the inspiration of Steve Reich with a very contemporary kind of jazz improv. One that draws on electronica, ambient dance and rock music in an intense blend all their own. It’s the mix of ethereal sax, pulsing electronics, otherworldly loops, resonant hang, stripped back drum grooves and earthy ... Read more in Amazon's Portico Quartet Store

Visit Amazon's Portico Quartet Store
for 4 albums, 4 photos, discussions, and more.

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

Isla + Portico Quartet + Knee-Deep in the North Sea
Price For All Three: 34.56

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product details

  • Audio CD (19 Oct 2009)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Real World
  • ASIN: B002RWJF8W
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,541 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Paper Scissors Stone 5:270.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. The Visitor 5:300.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Dawn Patrol 6:000.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Line 7:290.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. Life Mask (Interlude) 1:150.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Clipper 6:310.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Life Mask 7:160.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. Isla 5:090.69  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Shed Song (Improv no. 1) 8:230.69  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

From a grassroots start in 2005, busking on London’s South Bank, Portico Quartet's reputation spread swiftly. Their 2007 debut, Knee Deep In The North Sea, attracted attention from DJs, bloggers and critics, and was nominated for the 2008 Mercury Music Prize. The new album, Isla, is a thoughtful and richly tuneful collection of nine pieces recorded by producer John Leckie (Stone Roses, Doves, XTC, Radiohead) at the Abbey Road studios.

Portico Quartet sound like nobody else in jazz, world or contemporary music. Each of the nine tracks on Isla has a distinct mood and atmosphere, thanks to the use of the hang, a tuned percussion instrument, they have a sound that is instantly attractive, yet uncompromisingly individual.

"Danceable chamber jazz soundscapes"--Q Magazine

BBC Review

With all the jibber-jabber that surrounds the Mercury Prize each year it seems certain the winners will be propelled into the pop stratosphere, but taking first prize doesn’t always make it so. Just look at the experience of 2009’s victor: Speech Debelle’s gigs are no busier and LP sales are still at a trickle, suggesting Joe Public pays less attention to the annual prize-giving than is generally thought. What’s worth cherishing, however, is the shot-in-the-arm the award provides to nominees who might so easily have been ghettoised.

Portico Quartet are one such act to have flourished. Following their Mercury-nominated 2007 debut Knee-Deep in the North Sea – a sprightly, fleet-fingered album of post-jazz ambience with a glistening, sinewy thread of minimalism that saw the four-piece nod appreciatively the way of Terry Riley, Philip Glass and Steve Reich – the four-piece have made a follow up that makes their beginnings busking on the South Bank seem like a myth propagated by publicists. Receiving a nod of approval for their pigeonhole-defying venture really has emboldened them.

They’ve signed to Peter Gabriel’s Real World imprint, brought in rock producer John Leckie (Radiohead’s The Bends is among his many credits) and hit a brooding seam that sees the young band utilising fully a sound they stumbled upon last time. They’re still wielding their percussive Hang ­– an instrument that looks like an upturned barbeque and sounds like a damped-down steel drum – but the intricate rhythms and twinkling melodies Nick Mulvey tickles from it give directions rather than drive Isla, for this is a moody territory overlaid with Jack Wylie’s ghostly sax and subtle, shadowy electronics.

Veering from stalker theme The Visitor with its deep, elastic bass and the propulsive Dawn Patrol, evoking the stark, reverb-y trademark of the ECM stable, to the roiling cacophony of Clipper, which slips between Radiohead-like arpeggios and improvised thrashings, the band pack an emotionally-weighted punch. Sure, their love of the minimalists makes for the same cyclical grooves and a less-is-more attitude as Knee-Deep..., but in Portico’s Balkan-infused melancholy, thrumming textures and skronking outbursts, it’s a deeper, scarier world this time.

A second Mercury nomination shouldn’t be out of the question. --Chris Parkin

Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful gentle jazz with intriguing undertones 20 Oct 2009
By Mark Shackelford TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
This new album by Portico follows on from their glorious debut "Knee Deep in the North Sea", with a similar tone but a new level of maturity.

The focus of the group is the Hang, a sort of inverted steel-drum which plays like a marimba - and provides a beautiful, hypnotic rhythm over which the sax and bass weave delicious harmonies. The drummer switches effortlessly between soft swishing brushes, to sudden bursts of hard-rock thunder. The bass-player sends tingles down the spine with some stunning (and complex) riffs - and the sax player builds exotic soundscapes for the band to play over.

This is music to relax to, music to dance to, music to listen to in smoky bars, music to enjoy - warming, happy, clever, but with an interesting harder edge underneath - whether the occasional screeches from the sax, or rumbling from the bass.

If you like (the late lamented) EST, or Keith Jarrett's Scandinavian group, or even Neil Ardley's synthesiser jazz - you will most likely enjoy this.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Atmospheric Modern Jazz 19 Oct 2009
Format:Audio CD
After being nominated for the Mercury Music Prize last year Portico Quartet have had some good exposure for their atmospheric brand of modern jazz. `Isla' then is their second album filled with more beautifully atmospheric tracks, each perfectly described by its title. Opener `Paper Scissors Stone' has an element of joy mixed with concentration very much like a child's game. `The Visitor' has an apprehensive quality to it provided by the persistent percussion and horn section. `Dawn Patrol' seems to ring like a muted alarm call in the quiet early hours of a day, before growing slowly in intensity. `Clipper' is a bouncing track with steel drums and echoing soulful saxophone. The closing track then provides a slight step away from the precise musicality of the rest of the album with a more improvised and less produced feel. The album as a whole is beautifully relaxing and atmospheric modern jazz.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Vinyl version of Isla Review 13 May 2010
This is a quick review of the vinyl version of this recording.

First off, the music is great. A sort of world-jazz, as I've heard it described, with an interesting combination of instruments and sonics.

The vinyl version does not come with the bonus track that is on the CD and download versions. But don't despair, the record comes with a download coupon for a high-quality 320kps version of the album c/w the bonus track. The sleeve is made from rather thin stock and therefore prone to damage if one doesn't handle it carefully. The vinyl pressing is average. I was a bit disappointed with the quality. There is noticeable pops/clicks on my copy right out of the shrink wrap. I think if you're going to do a vinyl version of your recording, a little extra time and money would be a wise move. Otherwise there doesn't seem to be a lot of point, to me anyway.

In closing, 5 stars for the music, but 1 star deducted for an average vinyl pressing.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Elemental 13 July 2012
Format:Audio CD
Portico Quartet play an almost indefineable concoction part minimalism, part jazz, part avant-garde, part "world-music". They create soundscapes into which I am delighted to venture, though jazz has only played a peripheral part in my own wanderings until now, and much of that has been in the form of cross-pollinations with traditional music, such as with Pentangle, Lena Willemark And Ale Moller and others.

The quartet's instrumentation is comprised of saxophone, the hang, double-bass and drums, with occasional electronics and piano. The four musicians play with a level of intuition and depth of subtlety that is a real delight to behold. The album has a feel not dissimilar to some of the Scandinavian artists on the ECM record label, whilst that curious hang adds a certain quality redolent of warmer places.

Sometimes, as with Line and Shed Song the quartet evoke images of perpetually shifting reflections on the surface of a lake, or a cascading, bubbling stream, their instruments interweaving and their music forming and reforming. At other times I am reminded of Amnesiac or In Rainbows-era Radiohead, as with Clipper, which was first contact for me and the piece that convinced me to buy this album. Some tracks move as brooding meditations borne upon sinuous undercurrents, threatening to burst forth into discordant cacophony, and then live up to their promise with passages of squawking, honking abandon. Other tracks, like Paper Scissors Stone and Subo's Mental Meltdown, bound along with a playful joie de vivre. The title track Isla is a beauty, a dynamic piece where the band are joined to wonderful effect by a string quartet. The Visitor has a slight Middle Eastern or Klezmer quality to it.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get This Album!! 24 Oct 2009
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
PQ are a very distinctive and original sounding group. Whilst I would say this isn't really a 'jazz' album, it would appeal to many jazz and contemporary music fans. There music has more in common with the minimalist/ contemporary genre, kinda like Steve Reich meets Massive Attack, who occasionally bump into Wayne Shorter, perhaps!

Anyway, I love their sound, and would rate this as one of my albums of the year. Track 2 has a section which is so simple, yet beatifully arranged and performed, it's worth buying this album for that alone.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Jazz rythyms
That require a spaciousness and a time given by unhurried listening ears. Give it your rapt attention,it's totally stunning and you may love it! Read more
Published 6 months ago by Jo
5.0 out of 5 stars bellissimo
album che consolida quanto fatto sentire nella prima prova del portico quartet, bellissimo il brano di apertura, sound che delinea il percorso e proietta, a mio avviso, il gruppo... Read more
Published 13 months ago by humphreymiller
5.0 out of 5 stars more greatness
This album pretty much continues along the same path as their debut, which is pretty much first class modern jazz. If you like their debut, you will love this.
Published 17 months ago by Alan Goodenough
5.0 out of 5 stars The jazz future is called Portico Quartet
I've heard it said.

I'm convinced. Isla is magical, it percolates through your brain and pushes all the happiness buttons. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Booksie
5.0 out of 5 stars Extraordinary
I heard this group play a couple of tracks on Radio 3's 'In Tune' and was struck by the way in which they fuse Jazz with strands that are more immediately rhythmical and harmonic... Read more
Published on 13 Sep 2011 by Scary Reader
5.0 out of 5 stars all good
I saw them live and wanted the CD which I really enjoy listening to whilst making the dinner. Arrived in perfect condition.
Published on 28 Mar 2011 by jo
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice surprise
I bought this CD in the spur of the moment - it was suggested by Amazon to go well with my other purchases. I had no idea what this was, and in a way I still don't. But I like it! Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2011 by Soderben
5.0 out of 5 stars As good as when I saw them live
My first encounter with the Portico Quartet was at the Brecon Jazz festival this year and they were brilliant. Read more
Published on 3 Dec 2010 by N Hughes
2.0 out of 5 stars isla
to be honest, i found this album quite disappointing - just goes to show that reputations aren't always what they're supposed to be!!!
Published on 5 Mar 2010 by sinnicle crittercool
5.0 out of 5 stars As good a sophomore album you can expect
I enjoy this album from beginning to the end. If you like the first album don't hesitate on the second.
Published on 8 Feb 2010 by R. BUKOWSKI
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Look for similar items by category