In this feature, we ask an artist to bring us "through the keyhole" of their personal living space and let us know what it’s like at "chez artist"…
This time, we're joined by Alan Abrahams, known better to the world of dance music as Portable, or Bodycode. Growing up in South Africa and London, eloping to Lisbon, then Berlin, before finally settling in Paris, we figured he might be partial to some creature comforts uncommon to the average reader.
On the tail of his swooning A Life Without Notifications EP, whose opulence brought with it a continued sense of evolution as his debut for Berlin's Dial Records, Abrahams penetrates his mystical exterior for an endearing glimpse at Portable, the man as opposed to Portable, the musician.
Share with us your favourite recipe. What is the go-to meal/perfect romantic fine-dining experience for yourself?
I make a mean Cape Malay curry. The recipe received from an old friend from South Africa. There we have a substantial Malaysian population, so I grew up with a lot of that type of cuisine.
How did this recipe come about and any tips for our readers?
Jeera, kajara, barishap, cardamon, that's what I had to memorise as a kid to get at the corner store for the curry every Sunday morning, and it's sticked. Normally I make a vegetable curry, I'm not a vegetarian but rarely cook meat at home. And for the tastiest flavour, roast your vegetables before adding them to your curry base.
What’s your favorite room in your home and why?
I would have to say the bedroom. For one, that's where the magic happens, lol. And secondly, my piano is there, which I practice religiously every morning after a cup of a coffee. It tunes my spirit and strengthens my mind.
What’s in your fridge right now? How often do you clean it?
Right now, there are vegetables and fruit, soya, yogurt, soya desserts and a range of frozen fish and frozen berries. I've never cleaned it myself, per say, that's my partner's duties. I'm on the cooking, he's on the cleaning.
How would you describe the decor in your home?
Our home is cosy and warm and somewhere I find very difficult to leave. My studio is in another building so I go there to compose and work on my video projects. My home decor is mostly soft colours, beige, and light blues, and the green from the range of plants and creepers.
Are you handy at DIY or do you get someone in?
Oh god forbid no, I'm pretty terrible at it. Technical wizardry yes, but DIY, forget it. Luckily my other half is a wiz at it, so it's a match made in heaven.
What do you eat for breakfast?
Breakfast is normally berries with greek yoghurt and muesli or oats, coffee and lots of it!
Do you have a Nutri-Bullet? Have you ever used it? If so, any health boosting juices you would recommend?
Not really, I've had them at hotels after gigs but at home don't have the time for all that, I've started a habit of a glass of tomato juice around midday, good for those antioxidants and just general health. Just don't make it a bloody Mary!
Who is your neighbour? What do they do? If you’ve not talked to them… maybe now would be a good opportunity to.
I have a Brazilian lady as a neighbour, besides that I don't really know much more about her.
Have you ever locked yourself out? What did you do?
I lived in Lisbon for five years a while back and during that period I lost my keys many times. Locking myself out I've never really done, touch wood!
Bath or shower?
Has your neighbour ever seen you naked, accidentally or on purpose?
It’s a lazy evening, no time for cooking. What’s your takeaway option? Who do you use? Do they know you and expect the usual order from you?
I have a lot of takeaway options here in central Paris, all about five minutes away, so I normally just go there and pick it up, mostly sushi or Vietnamese, but on the special occasions some delicious Moroccan food.
Do you eat your dinner at the table or on your lap?
At the table almost always.
Do you have a local shop or are you a supermarket whore like the rest of us?
Sadly there is no local shop. I am in the center of Paris, so supermarket for the essentials, but I do have a beautiful fruit & vegetable market just a ten-minute walk away, which is open six days a week. I tend to stop by there at least twice a week to balance out the supermarket zombie city life.
Is there a piece of art or ornament that holds particularly fond memories for you, from childhood or travels perhaps?
Well, there is a statue in Lisbon called Adamastor, which is the monster the Portuguese sailors used to believe was around the Cape of Good Hope where I am from. It helped quell the homesickness.
Animals. We love cats here at R$N, but just love people with pets. Is there a special furry/feathered/scaly creature in your life, tell us a little about them?
Right now the only furry creature is my boyfriend.
Are you a messy person? What’s the worst state your home has been left in after a party?
I'm not messy per say, not OCD either, more of a balance, but when there are deadlines for music or videos everything else takes the second stage and things and get a little piggy... thankfully the after party is normally not at my place.
What’s your most annoying habit as a roommate if indeed you do have a roommate?
Listening to terrible music.
What’s the worst roommate you’ve ever had?
When I lived in London I had a roommate from hell! He had horrible taste in music, never did his dishes, was super arrogant, and I really couldn't wait to see the back of him.
Is there a view from your window, balcony, front door, terrace? Can you share that with us? Who do you look for coming along the street?
There's not really a view. Just our plants, and my guard from South Africa.
Pick six dinner party guests from history, real or fictional, to invite to your home.
Toni Collette, Graham Norton, Erykah Badu, Nelson Mandela, Larry Heard and Arthur Baker.
Do you know the name of your postman?
It's someone different every day.
Where do you listen to music in the home and what’s the setup?
In the living room, I have a set of rock KRKs connected to a blue tooth receiver, so I stream music from different platforms or online radio. Or use them for the projector.
What would you change about your home?
Anything else we’ve missed about your home you’d like to discuss?
Kind of covered everything.
Enjoy this article? Want more?
You can support Ransom Note and independent journalism through our Patreon campaign now.
Become a friend of Ransom Note