One of the newest additions to Gramtik’s Lowtemp Music family, French electro hip-hop outfit The Geek x Vrv, have some serious heat coming out of their studio. Their latest release, “Say It” is a superb specimen of electronic hip-hop at its finest. The beat is deep, sultry and soulful. The samples are spot-on. And the vibe is undeniably chill. But really, would you expect anything less from a pair of Gramtik-approved gents like these? Beside this one, the tempos and vibes vary throughout their catalogue; some tunes are more upbeat and electronic, while others are smooth and soulful like this one. Honestly, these guys sound really similar to Gramtik’s earlier Street Bangerz days, so if you liked that, you will definitely appreciate this. Be sure to snag this free download while you explore the Geek x Vrv’s other work, including excellent remixes and mixtapes, most of which are available for free on their Soundcloud. I think it’s safe to say that we can expect great things from these two in the future. Enjoy!
Fresh from dropping his EP “Who GiBBZ a F@#$?” and hosting recent shows throughout NYC and Brooklyn such as “When in Robe- a Brooklyn Spa Dance Party”, Gibbz it at it again. Teaming up with Lowtemp label pioneer Gramatik, GiBBZmatik got the funk down Friday night at New York’s famous Webster Hall, collaborating together as one and leaving the audience nothing but pleased with their performance.
Originally scheduled for Thursday at SRB Brooklyn located in Williamsburg, ticket sales ended up skyrocketing and the show was then moved to Friday night at Webster in order to accommodate a larger crowd and drop the 21+ tag resulting in a spectacular Lowtemp dance party that lasted until 4:30 am.
The venue’s 2nd floor didn’t open until 12:30am, leaving the entrance way and remaining floors jam packed until security guards allowed attendees to make way up the stairs to view the main stage. Eager get groovy to the sounds of GiBBZmatik, the floor quickly turned into a giant Lowtemp dance party as opening acts Orlando Napier, iLLUMNTR, and BRANKX took the stage. More and more people began to emerge as GiBBZmatik finally began around 2 am. The group’s energy and stage presence was engulfing as they jammed in front of a celestial-themed backdrop, illuminating the crowd with stars and neon lights.
As the show continued, the crowd was more of a dancing family than a group of millennials from all over the tri-state area, and that’s exactly the type of people Lowtemp attracts. They were there for the love of the funk, and it was nothing short of obvious that everyone was enjoying it. Each section of the venue seemed to possess its own character whether it was people sitting on ledges bopping their heads holding beers, glovers throughout the floor giving light shows, girls winding and grinding on platforms, or LED hoop dancers lingering towards the back performing for strangers walking by.
The highlight of the night was definitely mid-way through the set when the group did a 15-minute cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition”, adding their own style to the single with their instruments and beats. The dance party became especially electric at this point, leaving the crowd in a funky uproar as they enjoyed the soulful smash hit.
Dressed classy in all black with his trademark fedora, GiBBZ did not disappoint and threw down an extremely memorable and enthusiastic set. With the mixture of GiBBZ’s passionate singing and dance movements as well as talented instrumentals and beats led by Gramatik, the collaboration was a great success and the crowd loved every second. The remainder of the funk family continued to party and vibe out with one another as the group closed out the set with their popular jam “Tilt Mode”.
The night belonged to GiBBZmatik, as the new Lowtemp collaboration reminded us that electronic music isn’t always about the drop. It’s about having an experience with the crowd around you as the music carries you smoothly throughout the night, rather than sporadically going wild with movement like that of a dubstep or house show. The group kept the crowd moving and jiving, resulting in one giant, successful hell of a dance party. Kudos GiBBZmatik, and we all look forward to what the future has in store for you talented souls.
Pioneering the movement of #digitalfreedom, a push towards dismantling and reshaping the current covetous industry standard of music distribution, Gramatik has established himself, in the eyes of many, as one of the great musical mavericks of our generation. With a catalog of productions too rich and complex to be pigeonholed into one overarching genre, Gramatik’s presence and mentality serves as a poignant reminder that music is all-encompassing, and that regardless of its origins, it is eternally art, no matter the form it takes. In the wake of his highly anticipated career milestone LP release, ‘The Age of Reason’, Gramatik was kind enough to sit down with us to talk Lowtemp, ‘Street Bangerz’, live performance and the contributions that he plans to inject into the future of electronic music.
HT: So where are you guys coming from today?
Today we actually came from New York cause we were suppose to play Output on the 21st and the show got postponed to Monday.
Because of the weather yea. I actually live in New York too so it was awesome to have two days off in New York?
HT: What’s the reason for such a short tour? Do you maybe anticipate that you’ll embark on a tour exclusively performing with EXMAG?
The short is because it’s like a January run that we just decided to do some markets that we skipped on the fall tour and spring tour. Obviously no body wants to tour too much in the winter you know (laughter)? It is really fucking cold most places. As far an EXMAG tour it is definitely going to happen. I’m not apart of EXMAG live. I’m an EXMAG studio member, so the four of them are the ones that actually tour live. They just started doing it frequently and there is probably going to be a tour that they embark on in the spring, either on their own or with somebody bigger.
HT: Looking back to December, can you tell us a little bit about how your SnowGlobe set turned compared to last year from the crowd presence and just the way you guys laid down you set this time around?
Last year we played one of the smaller stages, in a tent which was cool. This year we played the main stage which was really cool (laughter). It was really cold too but luckily they set up the warmers on stage and everything. I really enjoy playing SnowGlobe it is just I’m not fan of winter festivals just because I come from a Mediterranean Sea town. We have snow one every four or five year so it’s just like I prefer to be at summer festivals. But I loved SnowGlobe. It was a great time. We did the after party too. It was really cool.
HT: Favorite summer festival you have in mind for this year?
Oh it’s definitely…my favorite festival of all of them is Electric Forest. It just has the best vibe and I always have the best time there.
HT: In regards to samples. Did you ever feel a sense of competition where you needed to be the first one to find a sample and incorporate it into a release when you were making ‘Street Bangerz’? For example, ‘Flip The Script’, the vocal sample used in that release was used so many other times after. What are thoughts on recycling samples?
I actually never cared. I was always just trying to find samples that I would want to flip regardless of how many times it was flipped or who did it before me or whatever. I just never looked at music making as a competition of any sorts. It’s just art you know? I’m not trying to compete with any other artist or anything. I’m just trying to make the music that I like, that I think would be worth listening to you know? I approach the sampling part of my music making process the same way. If I hear a sample I want to sample I don’t care what it is, I’m just going to do it. It’s always going to be in my own way too you know? As long as you do it in a creative way you can always recycle art. Like collage sampling especially. Combining samples from seven, eight different song from different musical eras. That’s my favorite thing to do with sampling.
HT: Last year you put out ‘Street Bangerz Vol. 4’, which silenced the part of your fan base asking for more ’Street Bangerz’. Even so, many of them were dissatisfied with the length and depth of the compilation. How do you respond to that and do you have plans to return with a Vol. 5?
Well Volume 4…I found those beats. They were leftovers from when I was making Street Bangerz Vol. 1. I had like 100 beats at that time and then I took like 20 of them and then made it Streeet Bangerz Vol 1. It’s just not something that I was planning to release as an album or anything it’s just a collection of my beats that I put out on Beatport and I thought, “nothing was ever going to happen with it”. Recently, when I released, I guess it was a couple of months ago or whatever, I just found this whole entire folder of leftovers from Street Bangerz Vol. 1 and I decided to just select another 20 of them and release them as Street Bangerz Vol. 4. I totally thought I had lost it. I found it on a drive that I misplaced for years. I never even knew I had it. So it was really cool I just retouched the waves. It was just bounces. It was just two minutes. Most of the those sessions were lost too you know? So I just retouched those waves and released them a Street Bangerz Vol. 4 while everyone was waiting for me to finish ‘The Age of Reason’, so I thought it would be cool to drop something like that. And I might do a five too. I still have a bunch of them left that I could put into 5 and I can make some new ones too, eventually.
HT: Back in the summer of ’13 you posted a track from Emiljo A.C. on Facebook. How does it feel to know the capacity to go on social media and post a track from an unknown artist and have them get some exposure after that and bring them into the spotlight?
I think it’s cool you know? If you find somebody like Emiljo A.C who’s from my home country, Slovenia, which only has 2 million people and he was inspired by me and he’s 14 years old and he’s making Street Bangerz type shit that is really fucking dope, why not you know? When I was his age, I started making beats at 14, the same age he is right now and I could only pray or hope that someone would plug me like that. There was not even a platform like that, back in the day. When I started making beats when I was 14, it was the year 2000. There was no Facebook or MySpace. It was just forums and web. There was no platforms, not even close to as powerful as Facebook is today. I guess it would be stupid not to help somebody out that you really like…in his particular case I just felt like I saw myself in the same situation. I was inspired by people that were making beats before me, and coming from a place like Slovenia where there’s not much of a scene to begin with, I feel kind of obligated to help other people out because I would’ve died if someone helped me out.
HT: Is that one of the underlying reasons you started Lowtemp, to expose artists up from the underground exposed, and what is your criteria for bringing people onto Lowtemp?
No not really. I started Lowtemp primarily just because I wanted to have my own label for me to release my own music whenever I want to. Not having to deal with any middle, anything. Just release my own music, on my own terms, on my own label, without having to talk to anyone about it. I just want to get all that all that bureaucracy out of the way cause it’s just fucking annoying (laughter). I just want to make music. And then obviously to help my friends too who are making music with me, so that they can have a platform to release music and use my fan base to expose their music too. And that’s pretty much it. I never actually started Lowtemp with the purpose of trying to find artists and bring them out. I’m too consumed with my own shit to be caring about that at this moment in my life. Maybe later on in life I’ll use Lowtempo to actually run it as a label, cause I don’t want to make music anymore for some reason, maybe that happens, who knows? Right now I’m just too overwhelmed with my own stuff and my own ideas in my head that I want to execute. I just don’t have time you know? I don’t want to put it in somebody else’s hands to run it the way I wouldn’t. So for now it’s only go to be a platform for me and my friends.
HT: Do you ever think you’ll ever get tired of playing E Zoo, E Forest, things like that?
Who knows. You can never say for sure. I’m 29 years old. When I’m 39, who knows how I’m going to feel about all this shit. People change, mature, change in interests. I never even want to say that I will be making music for the rest of my life because I can’t say that for sure. But I’m definitely going to always be doing something creative.
HT: To briefly touch on ‘The Age of Reason’, musically, how does it rival and compliment ‘#digitalfreedom’? Some people are saying nothing has really changed. Did you channel the same energy and same personal feeling when making TAOR?
The Age of Reason is pretty much the continuation of what I tried to do on ‘#digitalfreedom’, even further, more mature musically because I had all the EXMAG guys as my disposal to sample them because they’re like great musicians. There’s a lot of vocals and original vocal tracks that I didn’t have the chance to do in ‘#digitalfreedom’ because I didn’t stumble upon the people that I wanted to work with until now. It’s fifteen tracks of the most diverse genre bending that I’ve ever accomplished so far in my opinion so, I’m eager to see what people think about it.
HT: We tend to ask a lot of people this question to get a baseline of where major players in the industry feel like this movement headed. In what direction do you envision electronic music evolving toward and how do you see yourself playing a roll in getting it where it is today to where it is in two years , three years, ten years down the road?
I don’t know man. I never considered myself to be any kind of trendsetter or inventor of anything. People always ask like “how did you go about inventing all these new cross genres or whatever?. I’m like “I never did anything of that shit”. I just sat down and made some music, and whatever came out, came out. I never said down with intent like, “I’m going to create a new genre”. I just hate putting shit in compartments like that. I just like to make music that I like and you know, hopefully other people like it too.
As far as the future of EDM, there is no way anybody can predict that. The way the technology and the skills of young generations are evolving at lightning space you know, it can go anywhere. Personally, I’m always going to be keeping it musical. For me, EDM without the funk, the soul, the blues, the jazz, it just doesn’t have any real value. So that’s what I’m going to be doing as long as I’m interested in making music. I’m always going to be basing it on those four elementary genres that I feel are essential, which obviously electronic music evolved from those four genres. In my eyes there is no EDM without the funk soul, blues, and jazz. So, that’s going to be my road for the next couple of years.
HT: Are there any emerging breeds of electronic of music that you’re excited about and that you think are going to grow in popularity and catch hold future?
I just think that shit that we did with EXMAG and the stuff the people like Mr. Carmack, and Lindsay Lowend, and those guys, I think that that’s a kind of a style that’s fresh and really really intricate right now, to me personally. Because as much as it is clubby, and trappy, and steppy, it’ still like based on serious mature music, and musical chords progression and some serious musical knowledge that not anybody can just produce. And for me that is really awesome. I hope that it going to be at the forefront in the next couple of years. The neo-soul vibe with the real EDM.
HT: What did you to develop your musical skills? Did you play instruments when you were younger?
I just played a little bit of keys when I was younger. Nothing too serious. I wouldn’t call myself an instrumentalist. I’m good at manipulating music. As far as being an instrumentalist I’d rather worth with people that are actually good at it and then I sample them as I would sample a song from the 60s or whatever. It’s even more fun to sample somebody that is your friend and really good at instruments. As far as my skills, I don’t know. I’ve just been fuckin’ hashing out beats since I was fourteen you know (laughter)? I wouldn’t call myself particularly technically a good producer but I always just go with my feeling you know whatever I’m doing. I don’t focus as much on the technical side as some people as some people do in the EDM scene because I feel like it takes away from the moment in which I’m in when I have this creative impulse. If I don’t seize it the right way, if I get lost in the technical side too much, then I forget what it was that actually inspired me to even start making this song and then I just close the session and just go to bed. So you know (laughter), I guess I have a more romantic approach to it than technical.
HT: How do you feel about the often binary way that performers interact with their audience? At a lot of shows there is simply an artist playing behind the decks with little to no improvisation, at others you find DJs throwing cake or spraying champagne into peoples face. Do you think that type of performance style adds to the experience or do you think it attracts a creates a crowd that is unable to appreciate the musical nuances of your type of music?
I don’t know. It’s hard to say those things because there’s different parts of an audience you know? Once you amount a certain type of following there’s always going to be different people that listen to you for different reasons. Us as DJs or producers or whatever the fuck you want to call us, some of us are more socially awkward than others, some of us are less self confident than others you know, which you can also see reflect on stage. It’s hard. Everybody is trying to find their own way through this because if you think about it in a realistic way, like we’re just a bunch of nerds that started bringing our laptops on stage and playing our music that we’ve been making in our rooms you know? And now all of a sudden that’s cool. Nerds never used to be cool like that. So that’s like a completely new culture that we have to find ourselves in and figure what works for us the best and for our audience or whatever. It’s a never ending progressing process I guess. I guess you got to be comfortable with yourself and then you can do whatever you want and people will accept it as long as it’s positive.
HT: A lot of people are asking and longing for an answer but can you give us any details on the Grizmatik EP?
Well now that me and Grant are done with our albums, we definitely want to make a Grizmatik EP in the near future. That’s definitely going to be happening there’s just no way of telling when because both of us are touring all the time and doing all this shit for our own careers, and then whenever we have time we get together and make a track or two. So in the next year we definitely plan to drop a Grizmatik EP.
HT: Headiest nug, paired with your headiest tune, what would it be?
Headiest nug, paired with my headiest tune? I don’t know (laughter). That’s a good question. I guess Collie Buddz’s ‘Come Around’ and, I don’t know (laughter)…Blueberry Kush. Something like that (laughter). It’s funny cause like as much of a pot that I am, I’m not that much into the pothead scene I just like to smoke weed. But I don’t get involved as much as people would think into the whole scenery, I guess the culture of it you know? Like I said I’m always consumed by my music making life. It’s hard for me to keep track of everything. But yea, weed man. It’s fucking good (laughter).
HT: If you could create a festival and have five people perform, doesn’t have to be electronic music, for a one night thing, who would you pick?
I guess I would do Justice, The Black Keys, D’Angelo, Erykah Badu..that’s four right? I’ll be fifth (laughter). That’d be fun. Those are all people that I really like. That’d be awesome.
When it comes to electronic music performers, Pearl Street Ballroom in Northampton, MA, will consistently bring you the cream of the crop. Though weathered in structure and in need of a serious upgrade for its premium beverage services, Pearl Street effortlessly creates an environment for audiences to unleash their dancing inner self to the background of sounds from their favorite artists.
January 22nd marked the date when Pearl Street opened its doors to the masterful Slovenian beatmaker, Gramatik, and members of his Lowtemp brigade. In the midst of frigid, single digit winter temperatures, Gramatik, Gibbz & BRANX each took the stage and lured in an incredibly impressive crowd for a Wednesday night. Gibbz & BRANX kicked off the opening parts of the event, elevating internal body temperature with sounds that left you gyrating in a smooth and rhythmic fashion. Musically, and as openers, Gibbz & BRANX played a vital part in shaping the night as they not only left your ears adequately prepped and eager for Gramatik’s headlining slot, but they also parted the stage leaving you with new, musical interests.
Twenty minutes after ten, stage lights dimmed, background music cut, two figures approached the deck behind the visual lighting display- one fitted with a black cap and black shades and the other poised behind an elegant guitar- and the audience collectively ignited in an uproar. With such a diverse catalog it’s hard to know what Gramatik is going to throw at you, but as he struck the first note, that was all we needed to hear to know that what followed was going to amount to a fiery and energy intensive set.
The earlier parts of Gramatik’s two hour set were filled with some older sounds that seasoned fans could revel in. Gems off ‘Beats and Pieces Vol. 1‘ were unleashed like ‘On The Boardwalk‘ and ‘So Much For Love‘. ‘#digitalfreedom‘ lovers were treated with an adequate dose of hits from the album like ‘23 Flavors‘ and of course, Grizmatik admirers were given a serious taste of some Grizmatik vibrations. Gibbz took the stage later in the set to perform live on ‘Get A Grip‘, a single off the The Age Of Reason. From beginning to end, the crowd was given a dose of everything new and old, and even treated with a well-timed interjection and spin on Stevie Wonder’s ‘Superstition’.
All in all, for Gramatik fans new and old, the recent Pearl Street performance, one of the final stops on his Winter Tour, was a truly rewarding and eye-opening experience. Gramatik is seasoning his live performance in a way that inadvertently rivals and surpasses the performances of his contemporaries with true musical undertones, ground trembling vibrations, a sweeping flood of soul, funk-laden soundscapes, and an absolutely sensational guitarist. If for whatever reason there is ever any doubt that Gramatik has the capacity to put forth one best live sets in the industry, shows like this easily dismantle the foundation of those kinds of notions. Look around. If Gramatik is coming and playing at venue near you, don’t think twice about it, it is where you need to be.
You know him. You love him. He’s Gramatik, and he’s back and better than ever! With his latest release on his own label, Lowtemp records, Gramatik has once again created something truly special and genre-defying. The Slovenian beatsmith and musical visionary has traveled miles from his Street Bangerz and Beatz & Pieces days to bring listeners an album that is as funky and heavy as it is soulful and moving. Blending elements of hip-hop, funk, soul, and jazz with the raw and visceral bass that he is known for and lacing the whole thing with ultra-smooth guitar and instrumentation, The Age of Reason is yet another must-hear Gramatik classic. As is the norm with the #digitalfreedom pioneer, the album is available for free download, so snag it up while it’s hot. And then do yourself a favor and go see Gramatik the next time he comes to a city near you—you won’t regret it.
There is no denying that Gramatik’s forthcoming LP ‘The Age Of Reason’ is one of his most highly anticipated and longed for releases. While several singles off the LP have stormed the web in full force like ‘Bluestep‘, ‘You Don’t Understand‘ and ‘Obviously feat. Exmag & Cherub‘, the NYC visionary has gifted us with a new single off the compilation to hold us off until the full release on the 25th of this month.
Courtesy of THUMP, ‘Get A Grip’ arrives in an explosive fashion; a production where Gramatik flawlessly channels an enveloping and spellbinding dose of funk and soul into sweeping and oh so tasty electronic undertones. With the assistance of Brooklyn’s Gibbz, Gramatik crafts another invigorating production with a sound unrivaled across the realm of his fellow musical contemporaries. Preceding the arrival of ‘The Age of Reason’, Gramatik will be touring across the northeastern part of the US in two days, so if you need to satisfy your Gramatik cravings with a live performance, now is a great time to do so. Snag up ‘Get A Grip’ for free and be sure to check out the tracklist for the entire forthcoming compilation.
‘The Age of Reason’ Tracklist:
1. Brave Men Feat. Eskobars
2. Torture Feat. Eric Krasno
4. Pardon My French
5. We Used To Dream Feat. Exmag & Gibbz
6. You Don’t Understand
7. Obviously Feat. Cherub & Exmag
8. Control Room Before You Feat. ILLUMNTR
9. Prime Time
10. Get A Grip Feat. Gibbz
11. Just Jammin’ NYC Feat. Exmag
12. Expect Us
13. Faraway Feat. Orlando Napier
14. No Turning Back
15. It’s Just A Ride
The northeastern part of the North American continent is going to feel some serious heat waves comes mid January. For a ten day mini winter tour, Gramatik will be run a course around New England and down to New York City for two performances. A lot of the stops on the tour are in smaller sized venues so jump on the chance to get tickets before it’s too late. Beginning Thursday, December 12th, a limited amount of fan club pre-sale tickets will go on sale at 2PM EST via Front Gate Tickets . Register for quicker access. Regular pre-sale tickets will go on sale Friday, December 11th through each venues’ ticketing outlets.
As SnowGlobe prepares to reel in one of the biggest electronic music line-ups for a New Year’s Eve Celebration this year, for those attending, if you haven’t put any thought into who you might like to see there is plenty of time to consider what is being offered. Aside from some of the heavy-hitters at the top of the roster, there is a ton of talent within the lines of artists that you should consider revisiting if you overlooked them.
It’s hard to get a grasp on what SirensCeol (pronounced Sirens Soul) has to offer with just one production, but if there is one piece that showcases the undertone of a lot of his sounds, its ‘Surfacing’. Every one of his releases is riddled with some arrangement of funk-driven passages, stirring vocals, uplifting melodic bursts, and dance inducing breakdowns, be it a dubstep, electro, glitch-hop, or house. You name the tempo, and he’s spinning it into a savory groove. Definitely check out his SoundCloud for a better taste of what he has to offer.
Everyone needs a dose of funk and in the wake of their recent ‘Tell Your Mother EP’, the Kansas duo is bringing a heavy dose of that to Tahoe. All “about making good funk music“, The Floozies have percolated through the industry with a delectable sound that is spreading like wildfire. If you had a chance to catch them on at one of their stops on the Rebel Era Tour run, then you’re well aware of how quickly they get the crowd going.
Always brewing up an absorbing and heavy-hitting blend of genres, Reno’s Love and Light is going to be bringing a stomping explosion of glitchy, mid-tempo vibrations to SnowGlobe. If you’re looking to be pulled into a complex and mind-bending arrangement and delivery of bass music, Love and Light is the spot to be at.
While this may already be attracting a large crowd, if it ever crosses your mind to miss out on the Kill Paris performance, rub some snow in your face. You can guarantee that this set will be packed with immense energy and a mouth-watering rush of sexy bass music; something that is not to be missed when presented with the opportunity.
With sounds like this, Star Slinger is not to be missed under any circumstances. You’re going to need multiple sets that will pick you up off your feet and keep that hot blood circulating and the UK producer will surely be delivering the heat on the 29th with his rejuvenating disco flavored stylings. Check out the video for his ‘Mornin’ Edit 2012′.
If you really want to stay warm, Gramatik is the place to be at. We’ve heard time and time again about how amazing Gramatik shows are, and from experiencing them recently, we can guarantee with certainty that this will pop-off as one of the best sets of the festival. That might be a no-brainer for some of you but just incase there is anyone doubting its potential, Gramatik live is one of the hottest performances circulating in the industry but you have to experience it to believe it.
Colorado aside, Chicago is one of those places that gets particularly spoiled with incredible performances from some of this biggest names in the game. Because Pretty Lights running through the city for a three night run on the Analog Future Tour isn’t enough, Gramatik will taking the city by storm on New Year’s Eve for a two night run. Each night is being hosted at a different venue. Concord Music Hall in Logan Square will host Gramtik on night one for a Lowtemp lable showcase and the 2014 countdown will kickoff at Chicago’s stunning Auditorium Theatre with support from Exmag, Manic Focus, and heRobust.
If you haven’t been to a Gramatik show recently, then you’ve been starved of an incredible music performance as the duo has delivering their live sound in an absolutely explosive fashion. The additions of Exmag, Manic Focus, and heRobust pack this event with a devastating amount talent, sure to roll in the new year with a bang in a class of its own. Stay tuned for the full line-up announcement for night one at Concord.