The liner notes of Port Henry‘s new EP, BSL MSI read simply, “recorded using a broken tape machine in September 2017.” The record wears its fidelity on its sleeve; it is muddled and fuzzy and the synths often sound recorded off of an Atari. But Port Henry display striking depth and creativity within their sonic constraints. Their oblique production is like a kaleidoscope revealing new dimensions to their songcraft.
Opener “aim” immediately introduces the sound of the record with a cascading, arrhythmic loop as its musical backbone. Manipulated vocal splicings in the outro recall Radiohead’s Kid A, though with an analog warmth in place of a cold digital sheen. Melancholy instrumental “white” would sound perfectly at home on the soundtrack of an indie game, while “atmopshobia” recalls Robert Wyatt in its abstract synth and piano textures. It’s on the closing track, “red light”, that Port Henry come across most directly. With a catchy melody and a driving beat, the song is anthemic even as its production alienates the listener. Its beauty shines through its contradictions. That really, is the essence of Port Henry.
Listen to BSL MSI below.
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