What does it sound like?:
A mix of ambient, modern classical, drum & bass and techno – occasionally in isolation, sometimes all together but never less than gorgeously mounted – ‘Portrait in Firewood’ is not just an audacious album, it’s also perfectly realised. Right now, just a few listens in, I think it’s flawless. It’s certainly my favourite album of the year so far. Singer Lola Empire contributes heartbreaking vocals for ‘Waters Rising’; elsewhere there are filmic samples from — of all places — ‘Meet Joe Black’, which, considering that DnB producers normally like to quote Scarface or Vietnam movies, contributes to a sense of Djrum (aka Felix Manuel) baring his soul. ‘Beautiful’ is the only word to describe most of what’s on offer here, and that’s not normally an adjective you get to employ around bass music or DnB.
What does it all *mean*?
It’s inspired by the artist Marina Abramović, but I won’t pretend to know anything about that.
Goes well with…
Sitting, listening, in awe.
Might suit people who like…
I’m going to go out on a limb and say that if you like electronic music — any electronic music — you’ll love this.