[sic] Magazine

Ringinglow – Ringinglow EP

Scott Sinfield may have retired the Portal name but thank heavens he hasn’t retired from music altogether. He launches his new project, Ringinglow , with this delightful EP. Strictly limited to 50 numbered copies, (1 per person), the CD is packaged in a gatefold slipcase made from recycled card with what looks like one of Sinfields own photographs on the cover. Even more remarkable is the CD itself. Jet black, the disc looks like a piece of future technology. I’m not sure if you can buy the Ringinglow EP digitally but believe me, the physical version is very sexy indeed.

‘Monarch’ opens the EP, an elegant, simmering melody, surefooted but with a hint of melancholy. Although bass doesn’t overwhelm the mix, I think it is the crucial element on display. Sinfields trademark programming and guitars are once again in force but the bass seems to be driving this track with steady, unflinching patterns. ‘Silver-washed’ is simply joyous – a bubble of pure happiness, its playful refrain dances around a more intricate, almost dub-influenced, bass rhythm. ‘Clouded Apollo’ positions itself closer to labelmate and friend Yellow6 and recalls the understated majesty of Robin Guthrie at his instrumental best.

‘Axia margarita’ brings the EP to its conclusion and brings to mind fond recollection of 4AD’s 80’s, enigma, Dif Juz . I realise Dif Juz are little-known and therefore less valuable as a reference point but they shouldn’t be. They were able to create rich, intricate moods and textures whilst infusing their music with spaciousness. Ringinglow is pulling that same trick here. This melody is a touch more reflective and chillier than ‘Silver-washed’ but the bass is equally Jamaican influenced, equally playful. Most strongly of all, the pounding, stop, start, drum rhythm is so very reminiscent of Dif Juz’s Vibrating Air EP. I can’t think of a higher compliment.

One cannot say Ringinglow is a departure from the Portal sound because Portal was so varied anyway. A continuation, or progression would be more in keeping. If you fancy this release don’t hesitate. The EP is already flying out of MMM’s shelves.



Scott Sinfield Interview