Milwaukeeans love to boast about their heartiness and resolve when it comes to the seemingly endless seasonal drag known as winter. We’re a tough and resilient people, we tell ourselves, able to endure the kind of snot-freezing weather that would otherwise destroy the permanently sun-tanned babies who choose to live in warmer climes. But let’s face it: winter blows. It’s long, brutal, and depressing. There’s nothing character-building about it. Warming your car up for 10 minutes and finding excuses to never leave your apartment? It’s the fucking worst.
Happily, Klassik is here to to make the awful season a little less awful. Actually, change that to a lot less awful, because his three-song Winter EP is terrific. The first installment of a planned four-part series entitled Seasons finds the tireless Milwaukee rapper/producer/Altos member taking his jazzy, spacey, and fleet-footed style to impressive and unexpected new heights. “STRNGRS” kicks things off with Klassik nimbly rapping over an alternately industrial and soulful backdrop; “Andromeda” features an infectious “I see constellations” refrain and a guest turn from Chicago’s BoneLang; closer “Mind Over Matter” calls on fellow Milwaukee rapper Oye for a blissed-out, widescreen head trip. It all adds up to a winning release in its own right, and a thrilling indicator of things to come.
In a press release, Klassik explains that the EP “represents a period of the artistic journey that is marked by depression, isolation, and frustration. The goal is to encompass those feelings, but then transform them into hope for the return of joy, of love, and of brighter, warmer days.” Consider it mission accomplished: If winter is the endless darkness of the soul, Winter is the light.
Klassik celebrates the release of the Winter EP tonight at The Hotel Foster. El-Shareef, Damir Balo, and Blizz McFly & Great Music open the show. Admission is $5 at the door, and includes a Winter download card.