RA Sessions: Portable - Stand By / I Reflect Thee | Resident Advisor

The South African singer and producer performs two lush new cuts.

Portable has always cut an unusual figure as an electronic performer. Though he often finds himself sandwiched between DJs on nightclub lineups, his act as Portable feels more like a one-man concert than an electronic live set. Dressed to the nines, and singing with closed eyes into an old silver mic, he has the flashy stage presence of a New Wave frontman, even if his laptop-and-devices setup is pure house and techno. His music, meanwhile, falls somewhere in between: frequently (but not always) DJ-friendly, with his velvety voice and romantic lyrics playing off crystalline beats. His singular sound has landed him on a variety of esteemed labels over the past 15 years, from ~scape to Perlon to Süd Electronic, while his magnetic live act has brought refreshing variety to countless underground events around the world, from the Get Perlonized! at Panorama Bar to Freerotation festival in Wales, where he's a resident. Beyond the quality of his records, Abrahams is alluring for his boldness: here is an artist who is doing exactly what he wants, unorthodox as it may be, and it's working.

Abrahams' RA Sessions captures the special character of his music. It begins with "Stand By," a ballad he originally made as an introduction for a set at Panorama Bar but has since fleshed out into a full track, which we can expect on the next Portable album (details on that one are still forthcoming). Almost imperceptibly, he segues into "I Reflect Thee," a more pulsing but still bittersweet number that's due soon on Live At Robert Johnson.

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