The fact that I’ve had this blog for nearly a year and have yet to dedicate a post to Gramatik is a disservice to society. Because Gramatik – real name Denis Jasarevic – is the man.
Gramatik is yet another artist whose music is sometimes hard to define – it’s a little hip hop, a little soul, a little funk, a little miscellaneous, and a lot awesome. The diversity of his tracks makes him hard to put in a handy little bucket but always keeps you on your toes, and I love the ever-evolving nature of his sound. Like so many other of my favorite electronic music producers, he expertly weaves together samples to create new, fresh sounds out of old tracks.
My all-time favorite Gramatik track is probably Illusion of Choice. I mean, that HARP.
But I’m also a huge fan of Just Jammin:
So Much For Love is also fantastic:
And can’t forget about Balkan Express, which makes me want to dance a cool hip hop ballet:
This is just a small sample of his range.
Aside from his music, Gramatik is a legitimately cool person (as far as I can tell without ever having actually met him). A strong believer in the freedom of information, he makes all his music available at no cost and is the #1 most legally downloaded artist on BitTorrent. In addition to posting about upcoming shows or festivals, he fills his social media with interesting science articles, cool photos, and hero worship of Nikola Tesla. He spends considerable time promoting the other artists on Lowtemp, the music label he started in 2013, and often invites them to share the stage with him on tour. In fact, I typically find that adding, for example, Gibbz on guitar and vocals or Russ Liquid on the trumpet, adds a richness and a depth to Gramatik’s music. They enhance songs that are already amazing to begin with and they create remixes that I never thought I needed but that I love so, so much. I always thought Illusion of Choice was a perfect song until I heard it with live trumpet. So wonderful.
On a personal level, I met 2 of my closest friends at a Gramatik show a year and a half ago, and while there are a number of artists that all 3 of us love, Gramatik holds a special place in our friendship (aw!) because he unintentionally brought us together. We, somewhat cornily and somewhat jokingly, refer to ourselves as the “Gramatik Girls,” and even though our concert and festival outings span many other artists and genres, we’re always a liiiiiittle extra excited when we have the opportunity to see Gramatik together as a group. ❤
I’ve only been a fan of Gramatik’s for a little over 2 years, a relatively short time considering he had a bunch of albums out by the time I caught on. But even in that short time I’ve been able to see him really grow as an artist and in popularity. The first time I saw him live was at Electric Zoo 2 years ago, where he played a set early in the afternoon with a really low production value (it was still amazing). This past weekend at Electric Forest he had the second to last slot of the entire festival, in front of a massive crowd with an unbelievable lighting rig on a sound system so powerful it felt like the bass was filling your soul. This was my personal favorite set of the entire festival and it makes me overwhelmingly happy to see him reach this level of success, because he’s insanely creative and talented and he deserves it. I think by 2017 he’ll definitely start getting the headlining spot at at least a few of the major EDM festivals, and I can’t wait to keep rocking out to Gramatik for years to come.