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Rich with bold brass and hypnotic percussion, Polyrhythmics' latest album, Caldera, showcases the instrumental eight-piece'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 70's film score, while the trippy effects and wah-wah guitar of "Goldie's Road" suggest a psychedelic journey (or perhaps a bad trip), 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 stellar 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.
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
Mestizo Beat is a collective of musicians based out of Los Angeles who compose and perform music influenced by the early 1970’s era of funk, soul, afro-beat, and afro-cuban genre. Formed by lead guitarist Aquiles “Lito” Magaña along with his brother Gus Magaña on drums. These two would come to share their passion and love for this era of music and become the driving core for the group. Influenced by the greats such as James Brown, Fred Wesley and the J.B.’s, Parliament Funkadelic, the Meters, and WAR.
The word Mestizo means the mix and blend of cultural heritage; you cannot find a better word to describe the blending of music, environment, and roots that takes place in Los Angeles, which is one of the most diverse regions in the world. The band members come from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds that enrich the music created and performed.
What is one to expect from a live performance of Mestizo Beat? One can expect an explosive dance party of heavy hitting rhythms that unify the audience and band into one pulse of love. The full ensemble also includes a brass section, organ player, and percussionist. Their sound creates a freight train of upbeat rhythms and groove that transcends their listeners to a state of exhilaration and rejoice. The beauty of diversity and cultural differences are embraced to boil into one universal meaning of love, rhythm, dance, and soul.
3017 SE Milwaukie Ave.
Portland, OR, 97202