Geoff Barrow's Sour Rhymes

The member of Portishead excavates his band's hip-hop roots

Barrow is working on a project called Quakers with his longtime engineer Fraser Stuart and Australian producer Katalyst. The hip-hop album will star "like 35 MCs or something," most of whom Barrow discovered on long nights drinking wine and perusing MySpace. But this weekend, he might reunite with Public Enemy's Chuck D, who in 2008 performed an onstage freestyle over the band's minimalist Mantronix robo-nightmare "Machine Gun" at Barcelona's Primavera Festival. "If we don't do it," Barrow says, "it's because I'm too nervous."

His band might get phone calls to put together entire festival lineups, but Barrow remains humbled by working with his heroes. "Honestly, it's amazing. I'm that breakdancing kid who's punching the air with excitement," he says. He does have a bit of bravado, though. "When you're younger, and you're putting music together, it can be a bit of a cockfight with other bands—the kids who got all the trainers and the right MPC. But RZA sampled me, so fuck off."

Smoky atmospherics:Portishead
John Minton
Smoky atmospherics:Portishead

Location Info


Hammerstein Ballroom

311 W. 34th St.
New York, NY 10001

Category: Music Venues

Region: Chelsea

The I'll Be Your Mirror Festival runs from September 30 to October 2 in various venues around Asbury Park; Portishead play the Hammerstein Ballroom October 4 and 5

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