El Portal

Nolan Lem, Rainer Davies, Joe Rehmer, Joe Rehmer, and Dion Keith Kerr IV formed the quintet EL PORTAL. They were originally from Miami. The five musicians were hiding in the same house during Hurricane Katrina in the fall 2006. They agreed to form a band together if they all survived the storm. This is not the norm. They work hard to get together on Wednesday afternoons at Lions Club, despite being separated by their studies (Miami and Kansas City, Chicago, Foligno [Italy], were Joe Rehmer has taken residence). This record demonstrates their strong bond. The music currency reflects their diverse listening and performing experiences. There are hypnotic rock riffs and hypnotic basslines, but also a nod towards Mingus and an affinity to drastic changes in tempo and mood that reminds attentive listeners of John Zorn. These similarities are combined into a musical ensemble that is strong on its own and characterized by a quest for new sonic territory. These young musicians are paving the way, creating original music that is strong and rooted in a conviction that defies their years. (F. Scoppio)

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