Kraken Quartet Unseals the Gates

Polyrhythmic Austinites preview debut LP

Like the mythical North Atlantic sea monster that predates part of their moniker, Austin’s Kraken Quartet operates with eight restless arms. Except they all hold sticks!

Two drummers, one vibraphonist, and a marimba player comprise the experimental troupe. Together, Chris Demetriou, Andrew Dobos, Taylor Eddinger, and Sean Harvey make a percussive, classically leaning sound. Think Steve Reich gone math rock.

“When we all met, we were studying music at Ithaca College in upstate New York, so you’ll hear hints of contemporary composers for percussion,” explains drummer Harvey. “We wanted to take that, as well as the instruments that we learned this concert percussion repertoire with, and add elements of styles we’ve been listening to our whole lives, like math rock and post-rock.

“In the really technically proficient sections of our music, you’ll hear us play some stuff that sounds like Reich or TTNG, Tera Melos, and Giraffe Giraffe. Then, when we get into an expansive section, it could be inspired by Explosions in the Sky.”

Electro spiker “The Gates,” off the group’s forthcoming full-length debut, Separate | Migrate, unfolds with a tranquil foundation of drums and vibes. That quickly compounds into a challenging polyrhythm and epic breakdown in which arpeggiated synth, glitchy beats, and dinging bells hold a complex conversation. The piece closes in a mathematical melee of disparate time signature played simultaneously.

Separate | Migrate arrives April 28 digitally and on vinyl. Catch the Kraken Quartet in action at their record release show inside Cheer Up Charlies on May 4 alongside like-minded inventive acts Ballerino, Vorcha, Dude Elsberry, and Seven Circles.

Open “The Gates”:

And to appreciate how the local foursome generates its music, check out this live video of “The Gates” as well:

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