YouTube Sessions: Portable

Portable is the alias of Alan Abrahams, the multi-talented South African-born artist and producer, whose unique blend of electronic soul we’ve seen evolve over the past 15 years he’s been releasing music.

Having lived in South Africa, London, Lisbon and Berlin throughout his life, Portable’s heritage and travels have always been evident in his sound, whether creating music as Portable, or the darker strands of house and techno he infuses as Bodycode. It’s this ability to adapt and innovate over the years that has seen him release on cherished labels like Perlon, Live At Robert Johnson, and his own imprint, Süd Electronic. 

His latest work is no different, as the self-titled Alan Abrahams LP (which arrives August 19 via !K7) is perhaps his most personal yet, with 11 tracks that see Portable’s vocals at the forefront, as well as his own piano playing – forming a dynamic collection of songs built for myriad listening contexts.

Ahead of release, he’s picked ten of his favourite cuts at the moment, ranging from the avant-garde compositions of Harold Budd to the experimental distortion of Death Grips, and Chicago’s finest Larry Heard, aka Mr Fingers. Enter the musical mind of Portable below.

1. Mr Fingers – Outer Acid

I was thrilled to have some new material from Mr Fingers after such a long time and such quality, in a class of its own. This track really sends me to the outer limits.

2. Death Grips – Eh

I’ve long been an admirer of Death Grips, their tough,no compromise sound always stirs. The video for ‘Eh’, done by a fellow South African, Sean Metelerkamp, is one of the most original out there right now.

3. Sharon Redd – Love How You Feel

Growing up the youngest in a family of ten, this track always reminds me of my elder sisters getting ready for their nights out while I was a child!

4. Harold Budd – Juno

Harold always makes an appearance on a lot of my playlists ‘cos I listen to his large body of work almost every day around different occasions, be it connecting for a flight, or swimming laps in the pool.

5. Eska – Rock of Ages

Eska has a voice that always soothes and invigorates.

6. Master C & J – Face It

A track from 1987 that still sounds current and timeless.

7. Portable – Surrender feat Lcio

A precursor to a huge change of life !

8. Dawn Tallman – For Me (Honeycomb Mix)

It was my good friend Lakuti who introduced me to this track and since then it’s the track to go to for elevation!

9. Owiny Sigoma Band – Luo Land

I love this band’s fusion of African and western elements.

10. Aybee – Metamorphisis

Aybee creates music that leaves wide a open space for my mind to wander in and explore.

Alan Abrahams is out August 19th via !K7 Records. Pre-order it here.