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The All Rectangle: Ke Ala Mano (The Way of the Shark)

Derek Taylor By

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Geometry is purely relative construct in the realm of The All Rectangle. Comprised at various points of anywhere from three to seven players its an aggregate that routinely circumvents spatial strictures in search for an all-expansive sound. Through strong musicianship and a creative consensus that integrates elements of electronica and trance into the fusionary legacy first posited by Electric-era Miles, Mahavishnu Orchestra and Weather Report (among others) the group has uncovered an identity almost certain to resonate with a broad range of listeners.

The first track is a current of free floating beats fueled by an underlying hypnotic whir that bleeds across the backdrop like excess ohms from a powerline. A melancholy theme soon surfaces only to segue into “Little Friend” where the rhythms become denser and more layered. Rocklin’s massive bass figures gradually expand in girth and weight while luminous keyboard patterns ooze into the cracks around her notes. Crawford’s drums shift from muscular to mellow, but working in close syncopated conjunction with Rocklin’s stout strings, never loose the groove. Adding further complexity Kirschenman’s trumpet phrases, morphed by electricity and taffy-stretched echo, swerve in and out of the textured rhythmic structures while poison-tipped barbs of jagged lawnmower guitar (presumably conjured through keyboards) perforate the mix. “Dr. Such & Such” erupts with more bombastic keyboards, but quickly coalesces on a wave of rhythmically charged momentum. Rocklin’s febrile lines match infectious funk with high caliber velocity contrasting with Kirschenman’s horn, which applies laidback humor in carefully doled out doses. During these jocular interludes and at the track’s climactic close the sampled noises of a chattering crowd can be hear conversing.

Bells and echo open up “El Toro” with Kirschman favoring the more natural tonalities of his brass. Haque’s electric guitar makes a guest appearance here that begins tentatively but quickly gains confidence and clarity atop a buttressing background of tittering cymbals and electronic drumbeats. Trance-like in construction the track meanders for much of its duration, but Rocklin periodically reestablishes fast walking rhythmic tethers that reels the players back in. Haque’s solo weaves around these umbilicals as Bowden’s keyboard trails spread out beneath.

The enigmatic “Pinky Taun Taun” is brimming with ominous groove thanks chiefly to Bowden’s clever keyboard effects, which radiate outward in highly textured arcs. Rocklin is again at the core building a rhythmic fulcrum around which the others acquire leverage. But it’s really Crawford’s variegated drums that keep the tune bustling at brisk tempo while Bowden adds the atmospherics with a full array of prismatic electronics effects. Far from radio filler, the two edits that round out the program work as an effective coda. The gravel-inflected sax of Frank Catalano fits right into the surroundings of the truncated “Dr. Such & Such.” With luck and the attentive ears of astute disc jockeys both of these station friendly cuts, along with their lengthier brethren will garner much airplay and bring this band the attention it deserves.

Contact The All Rectangle at: theallrectangle@hotmail.com


Track Listing: The Body Language of a Race Horse; Little Friend; Dr. Such & Such; El Toro; Pinky Taun Taun; Dr. Such & Such (radio edit); Pinky Taun Taun (radio edit).

Personnel: Brad "Kali" Bowden: electronics, keyboards, bells, etc; Alana Rocklin: bass, bells, keyboards, etc.; Derek Crawford: drums; Mark Kirschenman: electric trumpet; Frank Catalano: saxophone; Fareed Haque: guitar; Spencer Bowden: bells, additional noise; Brutis Brockman: bells, additional noise.

Title: Ke Ala Mano (The Way of the Shark) | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: New Polyphony Music


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