Seattle's own, Polyrhythmics
, have announced their latest album, 'Caldera
,' is set for a September 22 release. A video for the first single "Spider Wolf"
is out now, while the track is also available on all digital music outlets. Rich with bold brass and hypnotic percussion, Polyrhythmics' new collection showcases the instrumental nine-piece band's impossibly tight grooves and virtuosic musicianship as they tear through a singular blend of funk, soul, psychedelic rock, R&B, progressive jazz, and Afrobeat. Calling to mind everything from Antibalas and the Dap-Kings to The Meters and Fela Kuti, it's without a doubt their strongest work to date, merging the infectious power of their live show with a sleek and nuanced studio sophistication.
Named for the smoldering crater left after a volcanic eruption, 'Caldera' was written during a band retreat to rural Oregon, where Polyrhythmics embraced truly collaborative songwriting for the first time during a marathon session in the shadow of Mt. Hood (itself an active volcano). The resulting album is a blistering declaration from a band that's progressed beyond the sum of its influences to come fully into its own. From the downtempo, Afrobeat trance of "Stargazer" to the triumphantly anthemic, high-octane pump-up funk of "Marshmallow Man," Caldera is instrumental music at its best: emotional, evocative, mesmerizing. On "Cactus Blossoms," Polyrhythmics craft an eerie, retro gem straight out of a 70s' film score, while the trippy effects and wah-wah guitar of "Goldie's Road" suggest a psychedelic journey, and the shuffling "Vodka For My Goat" draws on Stax soul while hinting at BB King's merger of the blues and jazz. It's an eclectic collection, tied together by the melding of eight distinct musical voices coming together as a cohesive whole.
The record follows the Seattle band's third album, 'Octagon,' which earned them tour dates around the country along with plenty of critical acclaim. The Stranger dubbed Polyrhythmics a group to watch, hailing their "sophisticated slinkiness and expressive brassiness," while WNCW praised their "modern afro-psycho-beat blend," and The Seattle Times dubbed them "funk maestros." The band was invited to perform live on influential Seattle NPR station KEXP, shared bills with everyone from Snarky Puppy to Booker T, and played massive festival stages including Bumbershoot, High Sierra and Vancouver International Jazz Fest.
Polyrhythmics are spending the majority of the summer playing festivals and sticking close to the Northwest. The band gets back on the road to support 'Caldera' when they kick off an East Coast tour in September.
Polyrhythmics are: Ben Bloom (Guitars), Grant Schroff (Drums), Nathan Spicer (Keys), Lalo Bello (Percussion), Karl Olson (Percussion), Jason Gray (Bass), Scott Morning (Trumpet), Elijah Clark (Trombone), Art Brown (Sax and Flute)
Polyrhythmics Tour Dates
August 4 - Cave Junction, OR - Turning Moon Festival
August 13 - Darrington, WA - Summer Meltdown Festival
August 19 - Prineville, OR - Summer Meltdown Festival
August 21 - Silverton, OR - Total Eclipse of the Garden
September 9 - Anacortes, WA - Bastion Brewing Company
September 20 - Philadelphia, PA - World Cafe Live
September 21 - Washington, DC - Gypsy Sally's
September 22 - Brooklyn, NY - The Knitting Factory
September 23 - Boston, MA - The Red Room
September 26 - South Burlington, VT - Higher Ground
September 28 - Teaneck, NJ - Debonair Music Hall
September 29 - New Hope, PA - Triumph Brewing Company
September 30 - Schuylkill Haven, PA - Meeting of the Minds
Caldera is out 9/22 on LP, CD & Digital Formats