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Portakabin Fever

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Album Review

Leaving a great job, close friends and a smart apartment behind in 2001, Hint's Jonathan James moved to his parent's house in Sussex, England to lock himself away in a portakabin situated at the bottom of their garden to knock out beats on an MPC2000. His first recordings for Leicester's Deep Water caught the ear of wild westerners Hombre, with a collaborative deal between Ninja Tune and the Bristol label affording further exposure. Like fellow Ninja newcomers Pest and Jon Kennedy, Hint fitted into the next generation of downbeat fiddlers in his departure from simple sampling in favour of building hopeful atmospherics from strums of guitar and pianic solemnity. This first album from the beat smith fulfilled all the promise of earlier singles, with intricate melodies prodding at the arrangements displaying an irresistible curiosity — the Reich-ian loops of "The Look Up" and "Quite Spectacular" offering light to the soliloquy which surrounds fellow crate-digger DJ Shadow, going as far as making a cheeky nod to Endtroducing with "Why the Top Ten Sucks in 2002". It's not all quirky and chirpy beats and pieces however, with the refrain of "Words To That Effect" and sweeping strings of change which envelope the "Re:Percussions" belying a moodier side to Hint which will no doubt be further explored in future fabulous full lengths.

Customer Reviews

Solid Album

DL this from a message board. Really relaxing, tight beats. Must own....

Blood Pressure Medication

If you're looking for a really laid back, charming, simple-yet-effective album to chill out to, look no further than Portakabin Fever. Knowing that he recorded it in a mobile home using a basic sampler, guitar, and keyboard adds to the overall charm of the album. Fans of Portishead should know as well that Geoff mixed it in the studio after it was recorded, so you know it is quality (that is, if the Ninja Tunes label didn't tip you off in the first place). Definitely recommended.

Favorites: Words to That Effect, The Look Up, Count Your Blessings, Air to the Sky, and all the rest.


Formed: 1981 in England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s

b. Jonathan James, 1981, England. Sussex, England-based musician Hint’s debut album, released in 2003, reportedly derived its name from the place and circumstance in which it was recorded. Portakabin Fever’s beguiling juxtaposition of hip-hop, funk, electronica, folk and soul was incubated and recorded in a mobile home by James using his computer, guitar, bass and keyboards. From his solitary confinement, James created a subtle and unobtrusive album that drew comparison with the Beach Boys, Beta...
Full Bio
Portakabin Fever, Hint
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Customer Ratings