Portable is Alan Abrahams, a South African-born artist, producer and celebrated live act.
Portable grew out of the ruins of the post-apartheid South Africa. His was the generation that was to bring about the freedom of Nelson Mandela and all that followed for the country. He later moved to London to establish his electronic music career.
In London, Abrahams began recording as Portable: the experimental, atmospheric project that acts a living link between the indigenous African sounds of his youth, and those first records whose futuristic aesthetic broadened his horizons. He founded the record label Süd Electronic with partner Lerato Khati (aka Lakuti) and released a string of seminal and highly regarded releases. A succession of full-length albums followed, namely Cycling and Futuristic Experiments #005 on German label Background Records and Version on ~Scape records.
After 10 years in the London bustle he decided to switch gears and moved to Lisbon, Portugal. His album Powers of Ten for Süd Electronic followed in 2007. A rich and expansive record, Powers of Ten further explored his African heritage through a new lexicon of sonic influences.
During his five year stay in Lisbon he launched the alter ego project Bodycode for Detroit label Ghostly International’s Spectral Sound imprint. He went on to release two albums, The Conservation of Electric Charge and Immune, under this moniker to huge critical acclaim.
The next capital city would be Berlin. Six years in this music capital cemented his deeply syncopated brand of electronic dance music. Portable’s music reached a new level of exposure when the 2014 track Surrender received a “Best New Track” designation from Pitchfork, and appeared in re-edited form on DJ Koze’s critically acclaimed DJ-Kicks mix (named the #1 mix of 2015 by Resident Advisor), while the video was named #2 in Inverted Audio’s Best Video rundown., giving birth to further video experiments which Portable began to use for he’s many live performances
Portable signed to !K7 to release his sixth full length artist album, Alan Abrahams, in August 2016. The 11-track affair was his most personal yet, and as such was a self-titled work that was layered throughout with his own vocals, as well as some choice collaborations.
Now a resident of Paris, 2018 is the year of great expansion for Alan Abrahams, with new Portable & Bodycode releases on Germany’s Dial Records and Tokyo label Mule Musiq, a new 3 piece live electronic band called RANGEr (released on UK label Waella’s Choice), and the launch of his new label Khoikhoi, named for the pre-colonial South African tribe from the region in which Abrahams grew up.
Besides touring regularly he also has he’s monthly radio show on Rinse France and a residency at Paris's Carreau Du Temple with rising Italian choreographer Francesco Collavino, to collaborate on contemporary dance pieces with accompaniment from Abraham’s music and video works.