[sic] Magazine

Album preview – port-royal – Dying in time

Dying In Time (n5MD)
1. hva (failed revolutions)
2. nights in kiev
3. anna ustinova
4. exhausted muse/europe
5. i used to be sad
6. susy: blue east fading
7. the photoshopped prince
8. balding generation (losing hair as we lose hope)
9. hermitage pt. 1
10. hermitage pt. 2
11. hermitage pt. 3

port-royal mix new technology with good old fashioned guitars and indie sensibility to produce startling effects. Their new album ‘Dying in time’, is their third, first-rate opus and first for new label, n5MD. The CD is released in October and the download later this month. But what can we expect? I caught up with spokesman and good friend Attilio Bruzzone to find out.


Well Atti, last time we chatted was in Liège, Belgium to promote Afraid To Dance. The Honved EP had just been released. Tell us what you’ve been doing since then?

Attilio: A lot of things, of course! Speaking about our life as a band, first of all we’ve been working hard on the new songs: the result of our efforts, the new album ‘dying in time’, is now, 2 years later (actually we were already working on ‘Dying In Time’ already since March 2006, so in total it’s 3 years!), out. Then, some important releases occurred in 2008: ‘Flared Up’, featuring 12 remixes of songs from our debut ‘flares’; ‘Magnitogorsk’, a split album with the Greek artist Absent Without Leave; the vinyl version of ‘Afraid To Dance’ for Valeot records; some nice compilation as well… But these two years have also been the period in which port-royal have definitely toured the most: great places, great experiences. We are mostly proud of our tours in Eastern Europe, that, as you know, we really love more than any other place in the world: we had had several gigs in Russia, then Poland, Slovakia, all over the former Yugoslavia etc. Life on the road is never easy, being quite stressful, some tensions always occurring on the way, but it gives you a lot and in the end we think we are richer now as persons than we used to be before touring that much.

How painful has it been to leave Resonant? Did if affect the creative process in any way?

Sieva & Atti

Attilio: Yeah, Resonant was our first ‘family’: they believed in us in 2004 and this has been really important for our career. Then, the two guys (Andy & Andy) who managed the label are really nice fellas: it was really a pleasure to work with them; it was, of course, a big disappointment to know they would have closed down… Anyway we understood completely their choice and life goes on and now we are really happy with our new ‘main’ label n5MD (as it covers most of the world; as you know, our new album will be also released by others: Sleeping Star in Italy, debruit&desilence in France and almost all western European countries, Isound Labels in Poland, Slovakia and Czech Republic) as we think it fits perfectly to us, both as way of working and ‘feeling’ music and aesthetically. About our creative process and the way it has possibly been affected by these changes: no, absolutely, the label change didn’t mean anything from this point of view.

‘Dying In Time’ is the forthcoming album. What can you tell us about that? What should p-r fans expect from ‘Dying In Time’.

Attilio: ‘Dying In Time’ somehow represents the result of all the ‘researches’ in electronic/ambient music we’ve been through during these years: in it our fans can find almost everything port-royal have been loving to do so far and also discover new sides of our sound: we tried to develop and bring to a higher level some of the intuitions of our previous works; we also wanted to push ourselves further and wrote a sort of ‘pop’ song, added vocals (thanks to some very collaborators – check the credits on the album! – above all the great Japanese singer Linda Bjalla, who is working with us for other songs as well) etc.. In general, we made our songs sound even more complex, stratificated and fluid then in the past.

To my ear, some of the tracks like Balding Generation feel very sequencer driven. Quite evocative of early New Order (Temptation, Everythings Gone Green era) Were there any major changes in approach, in equipment, personnel or style for Dying In Time? Are you becoming more pop?

Mirror men

Attilio: No change in equipment at all, as well as in our compositive approach or recording process… From this technical point of view we can say that ‘Dying In Time’ ends the trilogy begun with ‘Flares’ went on with ‘Afraid To Dance’, as these three records have been recorded in a very similar way. Also: it’s not completely correct saying we are ‘more pop’ now: there’s just one song (‘The Photoshopped Prince’) that really goes in that direction… We just changed: it is difficult to say why and how, but we don’t like to repeat what we already did, we always need new challenges. Changing yet remaining the same: maybe, in some ways, this is our goal. We preserved the style which is the trademark of the band but at the same time we went on exploring some unknown territories for us…

Why the title ‘Dying In Time’?


Attilio: Well, we like it because it sounds good and is quite evocating, as you can read it in many different ways and on many different levels. In a sense, it pictures a common condition in life, that is the end of youth, when often some of the dreams you had, reaching a certain stage as an adult, ‘must’ come to an end; this is quite sad, frustrating and brings you to look at life in a peculiar way, maybe like a feeling of not really being in things, just looking at them from the outside while they occur, but fully living them… In another sense, it recalls things, relationships for example, that often are not ending when they should end, going on like in an agony because you can’t make them stop when you should; this is also quite sad, seeing what once was so colourful, lifeful, strong, now becoming shallow, grey, tired… Another angle of lecture could be the opposite when good things end too fast and early… Anyway, as we said before, you can read a title like this in your own way, there is not one only meaning.

Is ‘Dying In Time’ the best thing p-r have ever done?

Attilio: It’s not up to us to state such a thing; we are very proud of it, anyway; as we tried to say before, it’s something different from the past but in the same time it succeeds in repeating the same general mood of our previous works (We preserved our style changing somehow the form to express it: we think it’s important through the changes to preserve our style and identity, a kind of trade mark of port-royal!). We show that our ability in programming, processing and building tracks have developed and yet we tried to keep the urgency and the inspiration of our first sessions… We think another time we made reached the essential balance between form and substance. We really hope our fans will appreciate it and our efforts and passion behind it!

Cheers Atti. Personally, I really think it might be.

Our thanks to Atti and the rest of port-royal. All photos courtesy of p-r official myspace. With kind permission and not for reproduction.

p-r Myspace