John Terra by de portables
About the Album
Postpsych, sleezepop, frietfolk… any attempt to categorize the musical output of de portables will necessarily fail and at best generate a new entry in The Oxford Dictionary of Music. So what can we say about the seventh full-length album of these elder youngsters from The Vlaanders?
That it’s been mostly recorded – once again – in their cosy refuge in Hainaut, Belgium’s most underrated province.That during these recordings they discovered in a drawer some postage stamp-shaped leftovers from a 1969 psych party that made them circling and twirling towards the certainty of a black hole.And that these very same substances inspired them to dedicate the album to a loyal friend and companion who’s been backing them up for a long time now: Mr. John Terra. De portables invite you to join Terra on his wondrous camping trips to Danish ghost harbours and sandy beaches ruled by oversexed gurus, while whistling mathrock anthems and declaring war on Sunday drivers along the way.
“John Terra”, while moving in more directions than a breakdancing hyperkinetic with multiple personality disorder, is a surprisingly coherent record. More than its critically acclaimed predecessor “Topless is More”. And it is without a doubt the most direct and spontaneous album by de portables to date. Also – being their first vinyl release ever – “John Terra” is their shortest album yet, containing several songs that clock in under the three minute mark.
This new-found conciseness partly results from another internal decision: to abandon all digital looping techniques. Cutting and pasting were strictly reserved for the papercraft workshops during which all band members created the artwork.These workshops were led by de portables’ charming chauffeur Carmen “Carman” Norman and intended to revive the psychedelic paper sceneries from quintessential Dutch children’s TV series as De Fabeltjeskrant, Paulus De Boskabouter and Bolke De Beer.