Groundbreaking British band Portishead are recording their third studio album - nine years after the release of their second.

The reclusive trip-hoppers won Britain's Mercury Music Prize with their 1994 debut disc DUMMY, which they followed up with an eponymous record in 1997.

The SOUR TIMES band reformed in February last year (05) to play a benefit concert for survivors of the Indian Ocean tsunami - and began recording new material in earnest in June.

Founder member GEOFF BARROW says, "It will be colder than the first two albums, but in a different way.

"The warmth and the jazziness isn't so apparent, there's a bleaker quality."