Geoff Barrow & Ben Salisbury. DROKK: Music Inspired By Mega-City One.

The West Country's beloved curmudgeon Geoff Barrow has never been one to stand still neither figuratively nor indeed physically – new Beak> material is now imminent whilst Portishead are next month to embark on yet another European tour. However joining forces with BAFTA Award-winning composer Ben Salisbury is arguably a move bolder than the establishment of a record label geared toward winkle picking out of Bristol the best stuff off the city's heavily trodden trip hop/ dubstep path. Said label is Invada and it is of course via Invada that DROKK: Music Inspired By Mega-City One is spawned.

Conceptually concerning Judge Dredd's native city-state Mega-City One DROKK is, as one may expect, a fairly ominous affair. In fact although it may only subconsciously be based around Barrow's 'ends', the likes of Lawmaster / Pursuit and 301-305 could conceivably soundtrack riotous Stoke's Croft scenes at a point none too deep into a calamitous, Conservatively governed future. Creeping rhythms crawl about an arsenal of analogs as though the excruciating pong of the sewer seeping up through grills to poison the air; clinging to our necessary particles like constrictive ivy, Barrow's beak poked prominently into the works. Helmet Theme sounds like a war field filled with the artillery-like synth insistency of Third, Zombie Nation and the sort of effects to which the plasma-powered hovercars of F-Zero X once hurtled about inside the N64; Justice One like Metronomy had Joseph Mount adopted his every manoeuvre from Adrian Utley in order to birth synthetic, instrumental narratives in place of sissy recounts of "all those evenings spent disappointed on dancefloors"; Scope The Block like arpeggiated paranoia bowled over by wrecking ball beats. However with each of the three barely surpassing the two-minute mark, it feels as though these mechanical compositions malfunction before fully readied for release on Mega-City One, or Bristol, or your nervous system to inflict the pair's desired level of pandemonium.

For DROKK is immediately recognisable as a quite vivid soundtrack although devoid of both script and onscreen accompaniment, the music is afforded a rather transporting quality as it whisks the listener away to Barrow and Salisbury's subjective envisaging of this fictional metropolis. It is, to employ, the hackneyed expression of the anxious hack the soundtrack to the best film never made and it veers further into the territories of this clichéd terminology on Exhale: a thalassic swell of immense beauty, it is Salisbury swimming to fore in faint reconstruction of his extensive work with the Beeb's Wildlife on One and it proves more emotive and ultimately involving than any hushed utterance to ever have passed Attenborough's lips. The murky undulations too of Iso Hymn exhibit his immaculate craft. The bomb-like sound effects of Council Of Five meanwhile evoke a substantial feeling of, um, dread as do the wompy basses of Puerto Luminae although again both are curtailed before they may grow into something more unsettling still. Miami Lawgiver then teeters on the brink of neon-soused pastiche and, with a hook to catch any pop polymath, it's a savoured respite from the overriding portent provided over the duration. The organicity of Dome Horizon, its whale-like wallow and featuring of tangible instruments, detracts similarly.

Yet it's the Beak>-featuring Inhale that deviates most successfully from the doom, gloom and demure: a heady gust of post-punk guitars, Billy Fuller's relentlessly inimitable bass clunk and the only vocal work within the record – it is of course impressionistic, unintelligible and again somewhat aquatic – combine in an instance that feels like the finger gruesomely caught in the cogs; the humanity amidst the machinery that is, deplorably, inevitably to envelope the existence of future generations. Now onwards to >>...