It isn’t often I’ll just review a single, least of all a remix or collaboration single but this one deserves a special mention. Polish pianist and singer/songwriter Hania Rani gets to reimagine one of Portico Quartet’s songs and vice versa. It is something of a Gondwana Records fever dream but they perfectly complement each other’s work.
Portico Quartet remix ‘Nest’ from Rani’s most recent album ‘Home’. The original is a fluttering winged piano unfurling over spacious vocal snippets and borders ambient expression. On the remix, the band bring that ethereal bird on a wing quality and ground it with soaring moments of piano, bass, synth and drums. It is still recognisable and Rani’s voice is mostly muted inside but the transformation is remarkable. Hania Rani takes on ‘With, Beside, Against’ from Portico Quartet’s ‘Memory Streams’ album. Here Hania’s voice shifts the entire dynamic of the track. previously the light saxophone was present and the tracks cinematic middle section exploded its a rousing fury. Here, the rousing fury is still there but it backs up Hania Rani’s voice who smoothly soothes the ripples of the other instruments. The result is a track that feels like distance chaos is brewing rather than something up close and in your face.
Portico Quartet and Hania Rani have done each other proud. Their versions of their counterparts music feel like a merger of both styles and I hope its the start of perhaps some original music made between them. They suit one another beautifully and its a fine bridge between their next projects. Blissful.
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