It's been nearly two years since Gramatik dropped his seminal album, The Age of Reason, in partnership with BitTorrent, quickly becoming the platform's third most downloaded artist in 2014. Since then Gramatik has embarked on several world tours, leaving only the occasional weekend off to record. He used the downtime wisely, crafting his most sonically sprawling and ambitious record yet. Today, fans are treated to the Slovenia-born producer's long-awaited new album, Epigram, released via his own label, Lowtemp Music.
Staying true to Gramatik's belief in "freeing music by making music free," the collection is available for free download, as well as at traditional paid download outlets, including iTunes and Beatport and streaming sites such as Spotify and Apple Music. He even treated his fans to an advance Epigram stream via THUMP a day early and discussed his reasoning for giving his music away for free in an exclusive interview with .Mic
With each new release, Gramatik further refines his approach to writing, recording and beat-making, constantly evolving, yet never losing focus of his roots. With Epigram, he's pushed this concept even further, delivering his most diverse collection yet with tracks ranging from soul to electro, pure hip-hop bangers to trap/dubstep hybrids. Much of Epigram was created by recording live musicians and then sampling and reimagining their parts into finished tracks.
"On my first few releases, I would sample music from the 40s, 50s, 60s and 70s that could be flipped in a cool way. I specifically like combining samples from like 5 or 6 different songs from different genres and different eras of music, taking bits and pieces of each song and warping and tuning them all together to form a new song. We call that collage sampling," explains Denis Jašarević aka Gramatik. "I still do that sometimes, but for Epigram I sampled my musician friends. It's a bigger challenge to make a good song that way, which helps me progress as an artist. You're also able to achieve a higher level of originality, if you're successful."
Epigram features collaborations with many notable artists, including NYC-based singer Leo Napier, and Wu-Tang Clan's Raekwon who both dig deep on the album's socially-charged first single "Native Son." Napier is also featured on "Native Son Prequel." ProbCause lays down several verses over Gramatik's driving beat on "Back To The Future," and later joins forces with Adrian Lau for "Satoshi Nakamoto." Other collaborators include the famous Slovenian underground group Laibach, Luxas on the cinematic electro funk protest anthem "Corporate Demons" and Russ Liquid on downtempo "Anima Mundi."
The album title also holds special significance and influence on the recording. "It's called Epigram because making a funny, bold and lucid point in just a sentence or two is an art form," says Gramatik. "They're like a punch in the brain and often a key inspiration when thinking about a new song."
Gramatik is coming off his biggest year yet in 2015. He performed at festivals around the world, including Coachella, Bonnaroo, BUKU, Hangout, Electric Forest, Electric ZOO, Decadence, Sonar, Rock En Seine, Sziget Festival and more, while selling out theatres from New York City to Paris, and even the legendary Red Rocks Ampitheatre in Colorado. It was at Coachella where Raekwon joined Gramatik on stage to premiere "Native Son." Another stand-out moment was Gramatik's track "Torture," with Eric Krasno on guitar, being used in the trailer of the critically acclaimed Netflix series, Narcos. Gramatik was again honored when award-winning journalist Lisa Ling featured him on her CNN show, "This is Life with Lisa Ling," which profiled the current EDM scene. In 2016, he's already confirmed to appear at festivals including Exit, Roskilde, Open Air St. Gallen, Dour, Amsterdam Open Air, Montreux Jazz 50th Celebration, Mysteryland USA and Osheaga.
Gramatik Tour Dates
Mar. 26 - Paris, FR - Zenith
Apr. 23 - Lille, FR - Zenith
May 27-29 - Chillicothe, IL - Summer Camp Festival
Jun. 3 - Clemont Ferrand, FR - Europa Vox Festival
Jun. 4 - Amsterdam, NL - Amsterdam Open Air
Jun. 5 - Bulligny, FR - Jardin Du Michel
Jun. 10-13 - Bethel, NY - Mysteryland
Jun. 17 - Morrison, CO - Red Rocks Amphitheatre ***
Jun. 30 - St. Gallen, CH - Open Air St. Gallen
Jul. 1-2 - Saint Denis De Gastines, FR - Au Foin De LA Rue Festival
Jul. 8 - Pont Du Gard, FR - Lives Au Pont Festival
Jul. 8-10 - Vallee De Ville, FR - Decibulles Festival
Jul. 14-17 - Bern, CH - Gurten Festival
Jul. 20 - Florence, IT - Decibel Open Air
Jul. 22 - Milan, IT - Market Sound (Chemical Brothers After Party)
Jul. 23 - Collegno, IT - Flowers Festival
Jul. 29-31 - Montreal, CA - Osheaga Festival
Aug. 11-14 - Darrington, WA - Summer Meltdown
***w/ Hippie Sabotage, Sweater Beats, The Geek X VRV