Adrian Utley & Mount Vernon Arts Lab Westminster

Westminster is one 22-minute track with a number of movements. Recorded in collaboration between Portishead’s Adrian Utley and Drew Mulholland of Mount Vernon Arts Lab, the two swapped DATs back and forth in the mail earlier this year to come up with this piece. Opening with a spare, down-tempo loop laden with echoing synth tones, the track then moves into a new percussive section (at the same tempo) with droning, sustained strings added by Caroline Subedi. Halfway through, the drumatics are dropped in favour of some rippling analogistics reminiscent of Morton Subotnick, the piece then rebuilds with a section of synthetic percussion stabs, a return of the strings, some metallic rumblings and scrapings, and finally the addition of flute from Morag Brown before ending with some Morse Code-like burbling that brings to mind a warmer-voiced R2 D2. Whether atmospherics and experimentation are more your style or exploratory jazz and musique concrete, there’s likely something in Westminster for you. And, as a bonus, a full kit list is included for the gearheads. (Ochre)