Get your one-way ticket to Funklandia as the Crystal throws the funkiest New Year's bash in town.
VIP it up! (please note: VIP tickets are sold out!) Experience Funklandia in style with the NYE VIP Ticket. For an extra $40 per ticket you get: three (3) drink tickets, Crystal Ballroom VIP Viewing Area and VIP Bar access, and all night access to the exclusive Funk Underground VIP Lounge at Lola's, featuring VIP bar, music, and more perks and surprises.
In a sense, although they've been in existence for more than a decade, The Motet has only recently begun to realize their full potential as a band. Throughout most of their career, the Colorado-based progressive funk outfit has operated with a loosely based revolving cast of players, its liquid membership largely serving to flesh out the vision of the band's founder, drummer Dave Watts. That all changed with The Motet, the group's seventh album, released in February 2014. This time, a concerted effort was made to involve each of the seven current members-Watts, vocalist Jans Ingber, guitarist Ryan Jalbert, bassist Garrett Sayers, keyboardist Joey Porter and horn men Matt Pitts (saxophone) and Gabe Mervine (trumpet)-in the creative process equally.
"This album was 100 percent created by the band, with each member writing his own parts and having input on the mix and arrangement," says Watts. The result of this new democratization of the music-making has been a palpable expansion of The Motet's range. "We are definitely able to go deeper," says Watts. "The material is stronger because we all had a hand in writing it. Because we have spent so much time playing together, our improvisation is more natural and intuitive and our groove is more effortless."
Adds Ingber, "We went into this album with the idea that we were going to make a fully collaborative record. We put aside four or five days for songwriting, each of us bringing in unfinished ideas that we could explore and complete as a group. The idea behind that was that the band as a whole would be so much greater creatively."
The method paid off. The Motet, self-produced by the band and cut on analog recording equipment to capture the instruments' rich, natural sound, debuted at #2 on the Relix Magazine radio chart and garnered the septet some of its most effusive reviews to date. Colorado's Boulder Weekly raved about the album's "utterly flawless production...not a throwaway in the bunch... ambitious, airtight and built to travel," while Upstate Live said that The Motet's "55 glorious minutes showcase their growth as individuals and as an unstoppable funk machine."
From its start in 1998, The Motet has aimed to corral the soulful grooves that permeate the work of such legends as Parliament-Funkadelic, Earth, Wind & Fire, Tower of Power, James Brown and the Nigerian legend Fela Kuti and to redefine their brand of dancefloor grooving for contemporary audiences. "Funk spanning the late '60s to early '80s is the perfect music for guys who have been brought up on jazz but love to play dance music," Watts says. "There is the potential in that style for the perfect blend of improvisation and song. People love to see musicians onstage playing real instruments and creating music in the moment, and at the same time keeping a powerful dance groove."
In 1999, The Motet released their debut album, Breathe. The followup albums-Play (2001), Live (2002), Music for Life (2004), Instrumental Dissent (2006) and Dig Deep (2009)-each showcased a band continually refining its approach and seeking its definitive voice, seamlessly welding its funk roots with elements from disco, jazz, soul, Afrobeat, Latin, reggae and electronic music.
But for all of the solid danceability found on The Motet's recordings, their live gigs have always brought out the best they have to offer, giving the band ample opportunities to expand their musical boundaries. "We enjoy the challenge of learning different styles and we like to mix those styles up," says Watts. "It's all dance music that has space for improvisation, and making audiences dance has always been the goal."
Honing their skills on countless stages, at first exclusively in local Colorado venues and in more recent years all across the United States-including sellout shows at Portland's Wonderland Ballroom, New York's Brooklyn Bowl, Denver's Fillmore Auditorium, Atlanta's Terminal West, Boston's Brighton Music Hall and huge festivals such as Wakarusa, Summer Camp, Oregon County Fair and Arise Music Festival, among others-The Motet has built a reputation as one of the most reliable dance party bands around.
And no party anywhere, at any time, can even come close to The Motet's annual Halloween shows along Colorado's Front Range, wherein the band performs the music of one of its favorite funk influences. To date, Halloween shows have focused on the canons of such iconic artists as Stevie Wonder, P-Funk, Jamiroquai, Herbie Hancock's Headhunters, Prince, Tower of Power and others. The gigs are joyous, full of surprises and legendarily raucous, and have served not only to pay back the band's fans for their loyalty but also to enhance The Motet's understanding of who they are. Says Watts, "We feel that it's crucial to know the roots of any style of music so that you can speak the language."
For each Halloween show, The Motet has studied the intricacies of the chosen band they planned to cover and worked out every minute detail, often bringing in additional musicians and vocalists so that they could fully embody the subject's music. But now, says Ingber, "More energy is being put toward writing original music. That's the difference between The Motet four years ago and The Motet now. What we really want is to bring some of the energy of the live band to record-for us the energy part is really important. That's why a lot of the tunes sound so big! And we want to highlight the musicianship of these players who have put in years and years studying their craft."
"The fact that we were able to create an album with such a collaborative effort is a testament to that," says Watts in conclusion. "Making this record was a fresh start for us and represents the sound and style that we want to focus on for the next chapter in The Motet's history."
Original hard-driving, modern afro-beat and syncopated, horn-driven funk. That is the recipe that Polyrhythmics have crafted and delivered to packed clubs, and festival crowds throughout the west coast in the past 3 years. The 8 members of this dynamic world-beat orchestra, weave a clever web of deep, hypnotic grooves, creative, yet melodic interplay, clever horn-hooks, and searing solos that ignite every dance-floor that has laid before them.
Despite their proven reputation as performers, delivering a non-stop a Live show experience unmatched in today's instrumental musical landscape, the heart and inspiration for this band's existence is the art of recording, documenting the art, and laying it down to tape.
Founded in late 2010, Polyrhythmics was formed by Ben Bloom and Grant Schroff, who quickly gathered some of the most talented and highly sought-after performers in the North West to record an EP. Ben and Grant were coming from different musical communities, from within the NW. Previous to this point, Ben had been on a musical journey, performing and making 45's with recording artist, arranger and composer Joel Ricci, aka Lucky Brown and his "West Sound Union", and playing in various soul, funk, rock and R&B collectives in the NW. Grant , a graduate from Cornish School of Music, had been performing various esteemed , Jazz, funk, hip-hop and reggae groups throughout Seattle. The two met through mutual friends and had performed on a few bills together on several occasions, but until now had not collaborated.
Using primitive gear, the expertise of the band's Bass player / recording engineer, Jason Gray ,and a "live, all in one -room", low-budget recording technique, the band captured magic, the very 1st time the record button was pushed. The resulting 6 song EP became a cult classic and quickly sold out at shows. Highlights such as "Pink Wasabi", and "Klompton" have since been re-released on 7 inch 45 by Electric Cowbell Records and Kept Records and are also sold-out.
In June of 2011, using crowd-sourced funds, the band released their first full length "Labrador", and enjoyed immediate attention by such domestic tastemakers as DJ Prestige, Dusty Groove America and Fat Beats Records, and Internationally by Juno Records in the UK, Paris DJ's in France and Jet Set Records in Japan. The 1st run of Cd's quickly sold-out at shows, and the 1st single "The Imposter" was picked up and released by Kept Records on 7 inch in November of 2011 and enjoyed immediate success on radio stations far and wide, including KEXP in Seattle. Shortly after the release, Polyrhythmics was named best band in Seattle, by Seattle Magazine in late Nov of 2011.
In Dec of 2011, Polyrhythmics signed on with In The Pocket Artists Inc. and began touring the West Coast in early 2012 with a fever and a vigor not usually seen with a band this size. From the very 1st tour, the buzz about the band started to spread, and funk fans looking to get down showed up in droves throughout the winter and early spring. Their non-stop, "leave it all on the stage", 3+ hrs shows, slamming arrangements, top-notch musicianship and absolute command of their ethos, earned the band coveted spots at String Cheese Incident "Horning's" Festival, the 2012 Summer Meltdown, The Eugene Celebration, NW Folk life Festival, The Black Sheep Family's, "Furthermore" party, and the Hangtown Halloween Ball.
With an ever growing West Coast fan-base, the band extended their touring range in 2013 with very successful tours throughout the rocky mountain west, and fantastic new musical collaborations with Lucky Brown via a new group called the "Lucky Mystery Now Orchestra" With a heavy touring schedule and unrelenting demands by DJ's, diggers and fans worldwide to release more recordings, the band teamed up again with label KEPT records for a 45 and full length album deal to release 9 songs recorded earlier in the year with Mel Dettmer at Aleph Studios in West Seattle.
The single, "Moon Cabbage" was suspiciously released on April 20th 2013 , and was spinning all over the globe within days. The big surprise was that when folks got the records, "Moon Cabbage" was the B side, with the A side featuring the song "Bobo" an all out dance floor banger that had been a staple of Polyrhythmics live shows for the past year. Excitement over the 45 was immediate and reviews from all over the world came pouring in in different languages.
Today Polyrhythmics are an unstoppable force in both on stage and in the studio . With live repertoire of over 60 original compositions, a full length album called "Libra Stripes on Kept Records," the band is firing on all cylinders. Taking the experiences of a nearly 4-year brotherhood, Polyrhythmics are just hitting their stride, writing and arranging some of the best material yet and setting their sites on the world stage.
Members of Polyrhythmics have performed with: Allen Stone, Blackalicious, String Cheese Incident, Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, The Motet, Sam Bush, Jerry Joseph and the Jackmormons, Railroad Earth, Monophonics, Orgone, Choklate, Pickwick, and Fishbone.
Originally from the San Francisco Bay, Weather began mixing and manipulating vinyl back in '99 with a very modest mixer and two Technics 1200 turntables. He quickly established himself within the bay area's North Bay Collective as a soulful house and broken beat DJ.
Moving to Portland in '02, Weather began to expand his style, no longer satisfied with the predictable drum repetition found in EDM. He challenged himself to learn any genre he could get his hands on, quickly developing his own style, not confined by genre, yet somehow consistent under the moniker "all things funky". Whether playing original soul 45's or the newest joints hot off the production table, Weather's music is just that. Funky.
This style held mass appeal and gained him notoriety within both Portland's electronic scene and it's hip hop scene simultaneously...
As a hip hop DJ, Weather is half of Elevated (elevatedhiphop.com), where he produces and lays down scratches keeping the crowd hype for emcee Dust. He also performs solo hip hop sets, appears on guest scratch choruses and has even stepped in for national touring acts as their show DJ.
As a solo performer, Weather is first and foremost a party rocker, believing strongly in adapting to his dance floors bringing them under his umbrella of "all things funky". As such, he performs at clubs, concerts, private events and just about anywhere a crowd is ready to move.
Weather has shared the stage with the likes of Grand Master Flash, Blackalicious, QuestLove, Chali 2na, Sound Tribe Sector Nine, Mac Lethal, The Pharcyde, Digable Planets, Signal Path, 6 Blocc, and many many more.