When you’re a music journalist, people will literally send you music to write about that they think you will like and the more they get to know your taste, the better the music you get to listen to! It’s the dream really, I highly recommend you start writing music reviews. That’s how I came upon this little gem from Praises called EP4 on the label Hand Drawn Dracula. It is so good! It is definitely my kind of thing.
Formed by members stretching across the continent, from here in Winnipeg all the way to Chicago and Austin, Texas, Central Heat Exchange arrives onto the scene with their self-titled debut, out this September. Having all met at shows in previous years, the musicians decided to unite and create a record while locked down in early 2020. Each confined to their own home, they collaborated through texts and DMs, ultimately shaping a broadly-inspired sound.
“My heart preaches what my mind knows, sense over emotion” – Meyhem Lauren
On the mic and on the dancefloor, Mooki has been carving out a space of his own in Winnipeg’s hip-hop scene for over a dozen years. Adamantly attesting that he’s always loved hip-hop culture as a whole, Mooki elaborates that, “because of breaking, I was able to look at music a little differently.” That unique angle has benefitted Mooki in his relatively short time rapping. With a few assists from the homies along the way, Mooki is now well-established within the local music community and eager to continue pursuing a distinct path in the art form he finds expresses himself the best.
When you first look at the cover of Motorists’ debut LP Surrounded, the amalgamation of roads, bridges, and cars is clearly and deliberately messy. It’s a rat’s nest representative of the chaotic and relentless hustle and pressure we put ourselves through. The black and yellow contrast further adds to the anxiety-inducing nature of the art- like a thousand wasps are flying around, ready to strike. It’s eye-catching, powerful, and, most importantly, it’s a visual thesis for the album.
Normally, when I review an album, I review it in context with the artist(s) other works. How does it fit? Have they progressed to new territory? Or have they stagnated? Reflecting on this style of review I began to question its fairness. Is it fair to judge an album based on their previous works? I’m sure we have all heard objectively good albums that fell short of our own built-up expectations and were ultimately discarded. In the face of this question, I will be reviewing 2nd grade’s sophomore album: Wish You Were Here Tour Revisited with “no context”.
While the feeling of being left behind is not endemic to the modern age, there is a special brand of modern apprehension about one’s place in the world– perhaps the lovechild, if you will, of the pandemic and social media age. With limited physical interactions it is easy to get mired down by our lives. Suddenly, every trivial issue in our life makes it seem like all the problems in the world belong only to us. The grass has never looked greener, apparently.
The last few years have been artsy-filled for Jorge Requena Ramos. From perpetuating the 70’s Mexican sounds in his band to working as a filmmaker, it seemed nothing but fitting for him to become the Artistic Director at the WECC (West End Cultural Centre). Even though Jorge was occupying a new job post shortly before a pandemic crisis, he was able to easily transition into the role due to some of his prior experiences off-screen.
Some music videos just make sense. Not necessarily in a logical or objective way, but they work in perfect synchronicity with the song on a level of harmony that cannot be summarized easily. This, of course, is the case with Alice Ava’s video for the song “The Hunted” from her latest album Can You Feel It.