Portishead have spoken to Clash about how tuning has impacted on their music-making, from the sample-based approach of 1994’s Dummy through to 2008’s more organically instrumental Third.

“There’s been an awful lot of experimentation over the years and one of the great areas of discovery is tuning,” says Geoff Barrow. “In relation to my world this has made a big difference. It became exciting again to hear things that were out of tune.”

“I come from quite a sample-based background,” the Bristol-based producer, one third of Portishead with Adrian Utley and Beth Gibbons, continues. “Sampling pieces of music and putting them together where they shouldn’t be. And there would always be a dissonance with that because things would never be exactly in time with each other so you’d have to slow them down or speed them up.”

“There would always be tuning issues basically and the thing is that when we stopped sampling and started writing our own music it all became too in tune because I was so used to stuff being out of tune!”

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