If there ever was a movie made of animated kids series Ulysses 31, Portasound would be the band perfect for the soundtrack. For those who know it, the imagery and sounds should rush back to you. And you should now have a feeling as to what kind of music Portasound make. For those of you who have never heard of Ulysses 31, it's a fantasy/sci-fi kids show from the 90's. It was set in space but based on the Greek myth of Homer's Odysseus. Characters included robots, aliens, Gods and humans with laser swords. It was wacky but creative and far-fetched but original, inspired by worlds from outer-space. This sums up the style of London based act Portasound.

From that description there is probably people thinking the band are the next Daft Punk or Justice. Portasound do have a style which incorporates both acts, but the production is not as big as their French counterparts. Portasound's music is the type of electronic music which can be listened to in the bedroom, but not ready for the festivals or grand stages which are home to the super star DJ's. It's an experimental sound which seems to still be trying to find its feet, a dance hybrid which is trying to fuse too many styles together. Trying to be too different can occasionally be an artists downfall.

Then there's the length of the songs, which can come across quite tiring when you're listening through The Second Renaissance. The EP is four songs long but these four songs come to a total of around twenty-three minutes. This is twenty-three minutes of instrumentals which are cross between robot pop and alien electro, and they sometimes struggle to find any real progression. However this changes when you come across the longest song 'Polaris' which lasts eight minutes. It opens with some crunching guitar riffs over some galactic ambience, it then swoons on to a fast paced electronic feast. It's full of thumping snares and synth blasts which attack the track keeping your ears on notice for the full eight minutes. It's the kind of song which would be a perfect score for a space race.

The band say they see their music as stories, fiction for a listener to input their imagination into. This is why Portasounds style has a lot to do with a visual aspect, which some bands tend to forget about when making music. Electronic music does have an advantage over guitar music when it comes to painting an image with sounds, but Portasound seem to be pro's at really utilizing this. Tracks like the opener 'Dreadnought' contain massive intro's, bubbling breakdowns and then explosive outro's. The songs are constructed quite epically and you can tell a lot of time has been taken when creating the certain sound scapes in this EP. They like to patiently build a song up using their own form of musical narrative.

The Second Renaissance should be applauded for its vision and creativity, as Portasound have created an audio visual experiment which will appeal to true fans of electronic music, but maybe not anyone else. The creation and production of their music is a breakthrough for a fresh, budding British electronica act but there seems to be more substance then style in Portasound, meaning they could fail to grasp any lasting attention.