Polyrhythmics, “Octagon Pt. 2”

Funk takes on many forms but each carries the same directive: Free your mind and your ass will follow. Polyrhythmics, Seattle’s eight-man instrumental ensemble, is fluent is several strands, from Latin-boogaloo style to Afrobeat to the Crescent City strut. We’re proud to debut the lead single from their upcoming album Octagon, set for release on November 13 on Kept Records, as part of our month of celebrating the funk in the Emerald City. 

“Octagon Pt. 2” was written by Polyrhythmics drummer Grant Schroff—rhythm section, lead melodies, horn charts and all. A lifelong drummer and Cornish-trained composer, Schroff says the true Polyrhythmics stamp is given only after everyone has contributed their ideas. “We’re starting to understand how to write for each other a lot more, thinking about a song or a part and at the same time a specific member and what they’re doing. That makes us settle into our sound.”

“Octagon” is anything but settled: The six-and-a-half-minute jam shimmies and sways through a series of bright brass, deeply psychedelic guitar and roaring organ, all of which swell together in moments of groove-drenched glory. The song’s production is raw and robust and dynamic, reminiscent of Budos Band or Heliocentrics, peers in the elevated intrumental groove-music scene alongside whom Polyrthymics stands proudly. As for the title, it has something to do with an MMA fight between Schroff and a cheetah. Listen closely and you’ll hear an epic battle raging. 

Read more about Polyrhythmics and the flourising Seattle funk scene in our October cover story. 

Read our Album of the Month review of Polyrhythmics’ debut album Libra Stripes