iTUNES Staff Review of CD, Speechless: "It's all too easy to slot instrumental electronic albums into neat little subcategories. Exotic world music instruments with heavy dance beats? "Tribal techno," right over here. Jazz soloists playing over synthesizers? Go stand over there under the sign that says "acid jazz." Brazilian rhythms mixed with lazy electronic billows? Um, okay, let's call you "electro-nova." This obsession with assigning slots to everything is a huge part of what makes newcomers and non-fans dismissive of the style as a whole: clearly, the records must actually be fairly interchangeable once they're categorized. That's definitely not the case with Polarity/1's Speechless, which is a big part of what makes this such an enjoyable release. All of the above elements are to be found here, occasionally within the same song, along with the clever, rhythmic use of found-speech samples and a wider variety of arrangements than usual, ranging from '70's-style fat slap-bass ("Blues For Chucky," "The Sumo Glide") to more abstract soundscapes built of cut-up rhythms and pealing saxophone solos ("Land O' Debbies"). It may not be easy to categorize, but with its inventive rhythms and wide-ranging choices of instrumentation, Speechless is thoroughly entertaining."
Review of CD Speechless: "Polar succeeds in his mission of forcing you to pay attention and not lull into the sounds you 'expect' to hear." StarPolish.com
Review of CD Speechless: "Polarity/1's Speechless immediately strikes you as a lost soundtrack to some latenight & long forgotten acid trip. Highly recommended." TheRecordIndustry.com
Review of Song "Di Hard": ?We?d like to hold this track up as an example of several successful techniques: Vocal treatment, drum programming, track building, using eq as a dynamic tool ? do we have all day???Review of CD Yankin? The Food Chain, Recording Magazine
Review of CD Yankin? The Food Chain: ?Polarity/1 is a musical force unleashing some of the hippest beats and timely lyric on the scene.??Review of CD Yankin? The Food Chain, MediaChannel.org
Review of CD Yankin? The Food Chain: ?Chuck U. here. A friend of mine dropped by my show with a copy of the News Goo CD that he got at the Media and Democracy conference. It's way wicked cool, and I played 4 tracks of it on the air in the course of my 2 hour show. I would love to put it into heavy rotation in the course of the up-coming Friday nights. The name of my show is No Censorship Radio. ? Chuck U., WMBR Boston?
Brazilian Girls,Tortoise,Massive Attack,Ani DiFranco, Michael Franti, Joe Henry, Los Lobos, Jazz Passengers, Peter Gabriel, David Byrne, Joni Mitchell, Prefuse 73,Weather Report
hip hop, funk, every kind of jazz & country, blues, soul, gospel, Brazil, West Africa, Cuba, reggae, zouk, John Cage, Steve Reich
Polarity/1 (Polar Levine) has been hooked on music since age two when he discovered rock, swing and salsa. By age 15 he discovered Bob Dylan and, preferring the early recordings, starting playing guitar and writing political songs. The songs soon grew weird appendages as they came under the influence of Brazilian music, jazz (Coltrane, Sun Ra, Dolphy) and fusion (Mahavishnu, Weather Report), Japanese Gagaku and African drumming.
While living in Boston in the 80's he discovered Cage, George Crumb and Laurie Anderson which kicked in a period of composing purely abstract soundscapes for multimedia performances and theater. He also did music for commercials and TV show themes.
After moving to New York he got groove again, playing in samba bands and applying his sampling and poetry chops to hip hop. He formed Medicine Crew with rapper D.A.V. Since 1999 he's been recording CDs and composing music for films. In 2003 he created, with drummer Curtis Watts, Battery Drumline -- an all-kids samba school. His political songs have been played regularly on Amy Goodman's sindicated Democracy Now broadcasts and other politically-oriented radio shows.
In 2007 New York's Battery Dance Company choreographed four of his compositions and will tour with the work later this year. His served as Music Supervisor, scored and wrote songs for the film In Debt We Trust, directed by Danny Schechter and has just completed work another film for Schechter. Currently Polar is creating a multi-media/performance installation that he hopes will tour internationally. In the coming year he wants to get more involved with composing and licensing for film and theater is will soon put together a new band.