We grab a quick chat with the prolific Parisian resident
Portable has just dropped his latest album Augmented Dreams, a concept album about humanity and technology of sorts, blending minimal house, techno ambient influences across four sides of lovely Circus Company vinyl. What better time to collar him for a chat?
First of all, where are you as you answer these questions? How is your day going? Been or heading off to anywhere exciting?
I am home in Paris, and enjoying my first day without jetlag from a recent trip to Chile. And cleaning my studio!
Give us a quick potted history of your life/career up to now for those who don’t know you – you’re from South Africa originally but have lived in Europe for some time… Where did you first hear dance music? Has South Africa left any impression on you and your sound?
I was born and raised in Cape Town South Africa, and moved to London to further a career in music, where I lived for ten years, then I moved to Lisbon for five years, Berlin for five years and now going onto my eighth year in Paris, France. I first heard dance music in South Africa at an illegal party during the apartheid years. My African upbringing will always be ingrained in my sound, perhaps not always directly but most definitely indirectly…
Your latest album, Augmented Dreams, is described as a concept album of sorts about technology. Tell us more… Did the idea come first or form gradually as it went along…
The idea formed gradually as the album started to take form. It’s based around the fact that we are living in what previous generations envisioned as science fiction, and even not so long ago.
You’ve done many, many 12” singles and quite a few albums too. Do you approach them differently?
Yes most definitely, a 12″ is predominantly with the dance floor in minds and then certain tracks just won’t work in this format, when I am composing an album go about it envisioning how all the tracks work together as one whole.
You seem to have found a happy place where making club tracks and songwriting are combined. How did that come about – did you have any inspirations to guide the way?
It was and is still pretty tricky to get the balance right, there was know-one I could really look to for inspiration, ofcourse partially in various artists but not completely in one.
What about ongoing and current inspirations? Long and short term, musical and non_musical please.
Art and nature are constants inspirations for me, musical inspiration are from a wide range of styles, classical to electronic music, just not heavy metal.
What’s next for Portable after this?
What’s next is a lot of touring, putting a USA tour for the end of the year and musically of course, already working on new material for the next Portable album…and I am finishing work on a new project under my name Alan Abrahams, an slow motion alternative pop project.