Album Review :: Jesse Ryan :: Bridges

by Phil Enns

As its title suggests, the debut album by Toronto-based saxophonist Jesse Ryan sees the gifted young instrumentalist building musical bridges between traditional jazz idioms and the Afro-Caribbean rhythms of his native Trinidad & Tobago. The improvisational nature of jazz always appealed to Ryan, as it provided, in his own words, “a space for collaboration, cultural exchange, and [a place] where old and new worlds meet.”

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Album Review :: Georgia Van Etten :: Deep Black Water

by Isabella Soares

Some artists are impossible to place inside a certain musical genre, for each of their songs have a life of their own. When you think you know what to expect from the next track, you are continuously surprised by the different nuances they showcase. Georgia Van Etten without a doubt fits this category. Her latest work Deep Black Water displays anything and everything from Florence + The Machine orchestrations to early 90s hits by The Cranberries. 

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Album Review :: Mahogany Frog :: Mahogany Frog in the Electric Universe

by Sam Doucet

It was worth the wait. Empires have risen and crumbled since the last time we were treated to a new Mahogany Frog album, and the eight and a half trips around the sun that have produced Mahogany Frog in the Electric Universe were clearly well spent. Though the four members of Winnipeg’s premier prog rock juggernaut have their hands full with a variety of other artistic projects, the cohesion on display here is that of a band who never let each other out of sight. As with their albums of yesteryear, Mahogany Frog offers a style of prog rock that is not marked by showiness or affectation – but rather an unhurried determination to prod, probe, and unwrap a never-ending series of sounds. 

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Album Review :: Bernice :: Eau de Bonjourno

by Olivier La Roche

With only their third full-length project since 2011, Toronto band Bernice offer a rather stunning mix of jazz and ambient that “openly plays with the shape of a pop song,” as lead vocalist Robin Dann shares on the band’s Bandcamp page. Eau de Bonjourno marks the first collaboration between the group and the grand multi-instrumentalist Shahzad Ismaily, who acts as producer. Ismaily’s impressive resume, which features work with the likes of Iggy Pop and Lou Reed, comes as no surprise given the pleasant, pristine production throughout the album. 

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Snowdance: At home

by Keeley Braunstein-Black

Snowdance started back in 2012 when it was unseasonably warm, and there was almost no snow.  Due to the lack of snow there was no ski hill to run and there was an abundance of musicians on staff. Thus the impromptu music festival featuring staff gave birth to Snowdance.

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Winnipeg State of Mind :: Kairo

by Nigel Webber

“The only man I hold weight for” – Ghostface Killah 

Kairo is a student, but he’s also a teacher. The Winnipeg rapper is  constantly learning about hip-hop history, cultural traditions from his  homeland in Trinidad, and even lessons from his ancestors in Africa. But  Kairo is also using that knowledge in his own music, to connect it to his  past and to teach a younger generation that may have yet to discover the importance of figures like Haile Selassie. Kairo’s conscious style but street-savviness makes him one of the most interesting up and coming rappers in Winnipeg today. 

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