Happy End of December!

        So, here we are again at the end of another year. I hope everyone is having, and will continue to have a wonderful winter. Two-thousand-eleven was quite a year for me. I played shows all over Canada, from Vancouver to Montreal, and everywhere in between. Next year I hope to play Victoria to Halifax and beyond.

I have some big things brewing for 2012, including a solo EP, called Hearts that is currently being mastered. On this one I collaborated with Greg Arcade as producer. He recorded all the songs, and I think did a great job of getting them to sound how I wanted them to. You can expect Hearts to be available early in the new year.

Another collection of music that will be available in early 2012 is the EP that Birdapres and I have been working on. You can check an earlier post for more information about this up-coming release. I am really excited about it!

And finally, another release that is set for release in 2012, this one for spring, is the new Magnum KI record! I’m probably most excited about this album, over the other ones, because I know how hard we’ve worked on it, and I know that expectations are relatively high for it. It’s a bit nerve-racking to have so much energy and time invested in one project, but I think it will prove to be a success. I know Magnum KI’s existing fans will be happy with what we have come up with, and I’m pretty confident that we will gain a bunch of new fans as well. We’re going all out on this one, so watch out!

You can also expect a big show announcement from Mikel Rondeau and I in early January, so keep checking in here for all the up-to-date news. Otherwise, whether you’re going to the Pyramid for Co-op, Hunnicut and D-Lo, or going to the Lo-Pub for the Lytics and Ultra Mega show, even you’re doing something I don’t even know about (!) HAVE  A SAFE AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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Crooks and Bird

Over the weekend, Canadian hip-hop legend Birdapres and (not so legendary) I finished writing the EP that we’ve been working on! The next stage, which will take place over the next few weeks, will involve recording, mixing and mastering, and all the other fine-tuning that must be done before a music collection is released.

I’m really excited about this project. Not only because the EP is a concept album (you can see how much I love concept albums here), but also because I get to hear Birdapres rap with me over my own beats! So, that’s pretty awesome. It seems so long ago that I first heard Birdapres and Moves’ album Alleged Legends; it was probably ten years ago, come to think of it. Wow. That was such a great album (check out a sample of it here).

Anyways, the EP should be out early in the new year. We both have other projects that we have to focus our time and effort into for the spring, so we’re shooting for a February-or-so release for this EP. It will most likely be available for free (or cheap, but probably free) download, with a limited edition cassette run, courtesy of Witchpolice.  I’ll keep ya posted.

 

 

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Coming Soon: New Video!

        Over the weekend I was lucky enough to get some of my friends into a blue-room in the Art Space building, in the Exchange district of Winnipeg, to shoot a video for a new song!

I owe a debt of gratitude to the director, Ryan Simmons, for his vision and know-how. He’s directed videos for Speed Dial 7 and Pip Skid, like this one, among other artists. I’m really happy with what he came up with for this video. It’s a whole new experience to work with a director who knows what he’s doing. Or to work with an actual director, at all, really. See for yourself.

I also owe many thanks to Anastasia and Gillian for being in the video, and for just being awesome in general. And to Josh for the lighting.

The song is a mostly unheard one, that will be featured on my upcoming EP, which is tentatively called Hearts. The EP is currently in the proccess of being mastered, and should be out early in the new year. The video will be available for viewing on RobCrooks.com via youtube sometime before the EP is officially released.

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“City On the Underground” Video Now Up

        A couple of weeks ago Dj Kutdown, Mikel Rondeau and I went out around Winnipeg and shot a video for  our song “City on the Underground,” off of the album Fucking Retards. Basically the song is about how grimy our beloved Winnipeg can be. It’s a rough and beautiful place to live. It’s a rough and beautiful song.

The video was directed, shot and edited by the homie Dj Kutdown, who also produced the album. There’s nothing too complex about the video; just Mikel and I rapping the fuck outta shit. So, do me a favour, and please check it out. If you like the song, the rest of the album is pretty much the same, and can be downloaded for free here.

 

Rob Crooks & Mikel Rondeau “City on the Underground” (video)

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Magnum K.I. in the studio!

         For the past few weeks, Magnum K.I. has been in the studio working hard on our follow up to the 2010 self-titled release on Foultone Records. We’re getting pretty close to being finished and we’re really proud of what we’ve come up with so far. We can’t wait to show it off to all of our existing fans, and the new ones to come! This album takes off where the last one ended, with tons of dance-floor friendly songs, and b-boy anthems.

This time around, however, there is a new dynamic to the group. Not only have we added a new vocalist to the fray, the incomparable Rhonda “Fenom” Thompson; but we also feel like we’ve really found and connected with our audience better than we ever have before. By playing shows all across North America in the past two years, we’ve been able to work out who we are as a group, and how to conduct our live show, fine tuning it to a frequency that perfectly melds us on stage with the audience on the dance-floor. Now we’ve taken that energy that’s been created through our live show into the studio.

As could be expected, our new album fuses old school hip-hop, raw rap, up-beat tempos and catchy hooks, but in a way that we’re not sure has been done before. I don’t want to oversell it though! So, we’ll keep you posted on any new developments and you can find out for yourself soon enough! The new record is expected out early in the new year, followed by live shows any and everywhere we can make it to. There may e a teaser or two before then, so check back here or MagnumKI.com for updates!

 

 

 

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Manitoba Folkways Collection

Folkways Collection     This coming Friday, October 28th, I will be performing at the Manitoba Folkways Collection’s vinyl release party. I was asked to participate in this project by one of the organizers, the lovely Kerri-Lynn Reeves. Basically, the idea for the project was to go around Southern Manitoba looking for folk artists to record, with the goal of archiving the grass-roots music that Manitobans are currently making. Anyways, they can explain it a lot better themselves, I’m sure. If you’re interested, check out there Facebook page here.

So, you may ask why Rob Crooks was asked to record for a folk music collection? After all, there are typically no acoustic instruments involved in my music. But the idea of “folk music” here is thought of in a broader sense than what you may traditionally think of.  In an interview they did for CBC.ca, Manitoba Folkways organizers, Jen Delos Reyes and Kerri-Lynn Reeves, described their idea of folk music like this:

“As Lomax said, if you are singing a song about your own life you are doing what they are doing, you are making folk music. Folk music is quite simply not a genre, but an approach. It is music about the lives and places that people occupy. ”

So, ya. I guess I fit into that description. You can also check out  Kerri-Lynn and I discuss the idea in a video interview that we did for Witchpolice here. Now that you have more information on this show than you could probably ever want, come check it out! Here are the details:

 

PRESENTED BY VIDEO POOL MEDIA ARTS CENTRE

MANITOBA FOLKWAYS COLLECTION
RECORD LAUNCH

Date: Friday, October 28, 2011
Doors: 8:30pm
Show: 9:15pm
Location: The Lo Pub
Address: 330 Kennedy St, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Cover: $10 includes admittance and a copy of the Manitoba Folkways Collection Vol.1 vinyl.

“And when you sing a song about your own lives, you are doing the same thing they do— you are making folk music.” -Alan Lomax, 1915-2002

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