The idea of a group of musicians working together remotely to produce something is particularly relevant considering the age we live in, as well as the fact that we’re going through a pandemic that’s forcing us to maintain distance.
This is a day and age of rapid technological advancements, private space firms, and information flying across time and space at or near the speed of light. It’s an age where social media can start revolutions, where someone’s video of them talking to their cat can get a higher viewership than the year’s biggest grossing Hollywood blockbuster, and when artificial intelligence is capable of composing half-decent music. The limits what we have humanity can do are getting blurrier. This is an illuminating and terrifying thought all at once, considering our track record of being able to handle situations that affect us as a species without making decisions solely based on fear and/or individual self-interest. The future is here. All the fun stuff that science fiction used to portray is actually here and at our fingertips. But the question remains: how will we actually deal with it all?
A partial answer to the question comes from a band of wild Americans with various backgrounds including jazz, rock, soul, r&b, and funk. Ink to Spill decided that physical boundaries shouldn’t get in the way of collaboration. So, using the technology available, they managed to put together some interesting “soundtracks” to the events and issues of the day, especially those concerning U.S. citizens. Their latest is entitled “Where went Josè?” It’s about the conflict, as they see it, between authorities trying to enforce government regulations, and activists seeking universal human rights for illegal immigrants.
According to Ink to Spill, “Where went Josè?” is a song about “a young boy who discovers his classmate and best friend Josè has been captured by ICE [U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement] and shipped back to the country his parents left decades ago.” The artists are convinced that their country is acting unconstitutionally with its management of illegal refugees. “The current state of our country wants to have it both ways; a low-wage-accepting, hardworking workforce but one that looks the way they want them to look and to speak the same language. Ignorance and unrealistic expectations have led to a very clear division politically and musicians have not taken it upon themselves to shed light on the issue,” they claim.
We here at RockEra Magazine is based in Cairo, Egypt, are largely distant from the internal issues of the U.S. and covering these issues truthfully and accurately is well beyond our scope. Saying that we do value music in all its forms and the fact that music can be used as a platform for social commentary and political rallying is nothing new to us. We will try to acknowledge this, keeping an open mind, without committing too much to one single view, as to not weigh our publication down with too much bias.
Whew, should have probably warned you there was a disclaimer coming your way. Anyway, musically Ink to Spill are connected with their political-rock roots. You can certainly here a bit of Rage Against the Machine in the heavy-sounding rock rhythm section of their latest single, as well as during the closing rap section, where the boys flirt with the rap-rock genre RATM made so popular a few decades ago. There isn’t a lot structurally happening in the song, which makes perfect sense considering that the lyrical message is the guys’ main priority here. This doesn’t mean that Ink haven’t laid down a great propelling groove to keep the song moving along. The lively drum sound, as well as the effect-laden bass tone, are certainly points-of-interest, and any fan of 90s/00s alternative-, industrial-, or rap-rock should take note, as these folks are drawing a lot of influence from the heyday of these styles.
“Where went Josè?” is scheduled to drop on June 25th. Spread the word! Peace.
Listen to Where Went Jose’?! through here.