Album: Libra Stripes

Artist: Polyrhythmics

Label: Kept

Release Date: December 17, 2013

Polyrythmics 12-13



Though this album has been out for at least six months, no one has ever accused BLURT of being timely—and by some reckoning, letting a wax platter age slowly, like a fine wine, is de rigeur when it comes time to assessing its sonic bouquet, eh? The fact that a long-playing set of deep-pocket funk is always timely for O.G.s (original groovers) around the office here only confirms that as far as we are concerned, this wax should be in your stacks, Jack!

As lovingly presented from just over the border by Calgary, Alberta, label Kept Records (motto: “embalmed sounds for your listenin’ & dancin’ pleasure”), Seattle 8-piece the Polyrhythmics arrive fully-formed in blaze of sleek Afro-beat and stanky fonk. From the cinematic flourishes (think a Blaxploitation chase scene done for a twisted spaghetti western) of the spicily-titled “Mr. Wasabi Rides Again” and the low-end theories put forth in “Pupusa Strut” to the Fela-riffic percolations and sensual horns of both “Bobo” and the title track, there’s nary a flourish wasted or a strut not worth taking. The band here has clearly paid attention to such contemporaries as the Budos Band (and, for that matter, the entire Daptone Recs collective), and the Polyrhythmics similarly plough a contemporary groove that’s as soulful and authentic-sounding and –feeling as it comes. Nothing “embalmed” about this band, Kept’s winking motto notwithstanding.

Worth noting: the lengthy sleeve notes penned by one Lucky Brown, in which he colorfully yet lucidly expounds upon the nature of funk. All respect.

DOWNLOAD: “Libra Stripes,” “Moon Cabbage,” “Mr. Wasabi Rides Again”

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