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In 1991 he met producer/engineer/musician Geoff Barrow and singer Beth Gibbons, and the three began writing together and became Portishead. They enlisted a fourth member, engineer and drummer Dave MacDonald, and the group's debut album, Dummy, appeared in 1994. They released a second, self-titled studio offering and the live PNYC before going on hiatus in 1999.
Utley and his bandmates pursued individual projects. He produced the Flanagan-Ingham Quartet's Textile Lunch album in 2000, and played on and co-produced Gibbons and Paul Webb's (aka Rustin Man) album Out of Season in 2002. That same year, he and Barrow released a cover of the rock classic "Apache" as Jimi Entley Sound. The pair also took on the moniker Fuzzface to co-produce singer Stephanie McKay's 2003 album, McKay. In 2005, they helmed the sessions for the Coral's Invisible Invasion album.
In 2005, Portishead reconvened and contributed the track "Un Jour Comme un Autre (Requiem for Anna)" to the 2006 Serge Gainsbourg tribute album Monsieur Gainsbourg: Revisited. The group's next full-length, Third, appeared in 2008. In 2009, Utley collaborated with notable musicians Larry Stabbins, Jim Barr, Helm DeVegas, and DJ Krzysztof Oktalski as Stonephace. The collective issued a self-titled genre-defying meld of jazz, world music, and electronica on Tru Thoughts in 2009. In 2012, Utley formed Adrian Utley's Guitar Orchestra in order to perform Terry Riley's 1964 minimalist masterpiece In C for special occasions. The group was composed of 24 musicians, including 19 guitarists (Barr, Thought Forms, and John Parish included), four organs, and a bass clarinet. Their recorded version of the work appeared in October of 2013., Rovi