Gramatik has always been an early adopter. It began at the age of 3, when his mother would catch him glued to the radio in his older sister’s room, checking out the cassette tapes with American funk, jazz, soul and blues. He started making his first be..
Gramatik has always been an early adopter. It began at the age of 3, when his mother would catch him glued to the radio in his older sister’s room, checking out the cassette tapes with American funk, jazz, soul and blues. He started making his first beats on an early PC by the time he was 13, and soon the kid from Portoroz, Slovenia figured out how to harvest the power of free file sharing to build a following throughout the US & Europe. Tracks spread, hype grew, tours followed, and before long his digital persona forged the initial inroads into the US market, landing him both a label and an agency.
Gramatik landed on US soil as a fully formed artist who knows how to do things his way. He signed to a label, Pretty Lights Music, that gives all of its music away for free, which went hand in hand with his own philosophy about ”freeing music by making music free”. Soon after, he scooped up his hometown crew and moved to Brooklyn, NY. Alongside Gramatik, the multimedia collective known as Dream Big features guitarist and producer F.A.Q, video director and filmmaker Anze Koron and graphic and web designer Martin Kenjic, with whom he has been friends since they were kids, sitting in a small town on the Adriatic coast, dreaming of breaking out into the wide world beyond. Now’s the time.
Of his new record #digitalfreedom Gramatik says, “My new EP bares the title #digitalfreedom. As an artist that based his entire career on the platform of free file sharing, I’m dedicating it to the fight against severe internet censorship bills we’ve been hearing about so much in the past months. Bastards have been trying to cripple the internet on a global scale with bills like ACTA/SOPA/PIPA and I’m sure there’s more of them coming, so this one goes out for spreading awareness! Reject them all, they will never stop the sharing, the Internet is our realm, DIGITAL FREEDOM!”
With over 100,000 tracks sold on Beatport.com, topping all kinds of genre charts, Gramatik has clearly matured into a world-class producer. He earned nominations for “Best Chill Out Artist” and “Best Chill Out Track” at the 2010 and 3 best track awards at the 2012 Beatport Music Awards. More recently, after posting a clever remix of Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”, he shot to number 1 on HypeMachine in a matter of hours, and has been since appearing in the site’s ‘popular’ top 10 chart with every new release. Within the US, it’s been a huge year of growth for Gramatik, performing at festivals across the US and alongside labelmate Pretty Lights, including epic sold out shows at Red Rocks. This summer promises even more high-profile appearances, including gigs at Lightning in a Bottle, Wakarusa, Electric Forest, Camp Bisco, Wanderlust and many more.
Credit to: Resident Advisor
Gramatik & Eric Krasno Funk Up The Road to ‘Recovery’: Exclusive
“After Torture comes Recovery,” so reads the message from Gramatik that comes with his latest single. The genre-blending producer recently messed up his leg real bad, and while he was stuck healing, he took the opportunity to get serious work done in the studio.
Following “As We Proceed,” “Recovery” is something different for the heads. It opens with orchestral strings and piano in the style of a ’50s musical, but ain’t nothing dated about the groove that follows. It’s got a vintage swing, sure, but the bass kicks are too future. Vocalist and guitarist Eric Krasno sings soulful inspiration to anyone who’s struggling to get their mind, body, or heart back on the right track.
“Recovery” is a real cool, laid-back tune for your lazy summer afternoons. It foreshadows some kind of larger release. Whether it’s an EP or full-length album remains to be seen. “Recovery” is out everyone Friday, June 2, on Lowtemp Records, but you can listen to it below, exclusively on Billboard Dance.
Credits to: Billboard
Daft Punk climbed atop the pyramid. Pretty Lights performed amid a neon skyline. Yet Gramatik’s stage setup may have the most meaning behind it: a few towering columns of blazing light, connected by glowing wires. It’s an LED rendering of Croatian inventor Nikola Tesla’s turn-of-the-century, voltage-amplifying Tesla coil.
Sure, the whole thing is an ode to an oddball inventor, but it’s also reflective of Denis Jasarevic’s approach to making music. As Gramatik, he tinkers and toys with a vast array of genres, almost scientifically fusing blues guitar, trip-hop beats, rumbling bass and even the folk music of his native Slovenia to create some of the most exciting electronic dance music around. And with his upcoming record – The Age of Reason, dropping on his own label, Lowtemp – he’s ready to bring his experiment to his biggest audience yet.
Though his tiny, coastal hometown of Portoroz (population: circa 3,000) didn’t offer much of a music scene, Jasarevic found a holy trinity in three ‘90s icons: Wu-Tang Clan, The Prodigy and Daft Punk. “They were what got me hooked for life,” he says. Jasarevic dabbled in hip-hop and began fiddling with beat sequencing. When early tracks off his 2008 debut, Street Bangerz Vol. 1, began selling on sites like the influential Beatport, Jasarevic knew that he could find success on the other side of the Atlantic.
“I started touring in the States before I ever toured Europe – I developed a more substantial following there,” he says. “I didn’t decide on that; touring isn’t something broke artists can just decide to do when starting out. It’s something you get offered to do – for no money.”
But that first 2009 offer – from Pretty Lights’ Derek Vincent Smith – was big. One day, Jasarevic was flooding the Internet with tracks from his home in Slovenia. The next day, he was lighting up stages in 1,000-person capacity clubs, opening for the Colorado EDM sensation.
When Smith launched his Pretty Lights Music (PLM) in 2010, Gramatik was a natural fit. Jasarevic handed Smith two projects for his label for free: the jazzed-up Beatz & Pieces Vol. 1 and the harder-edged, knowingly named #DigitalFreedom.
While David Guetta’s house music was flooding the radio and Skrillex’s dubstep was providing the soundtrack for countless frat parties, Gramatik and Pretty Lights, along with PLM signees Break Science and Paper Diamond, were creating something far funkier with soul samples, guitar licks and endlessly somersaulting beats. And they were giving it away for free.
Like his idol Tesla, Jasarevic was working with a mad scientist’s drive: a side project with producer Griz called Grizmatik, near-genius remixes of The Beatles and Led Zeppelin, increasingly huge tours and the foundations for The Age of Reason – his most complex, accomplished release yet.
“I’d planned to release two projects on PLM from the start,” he confirms. “Derek completely understood that I wanted to do my own thing and be completely independent as soon as I was able to. We’re very much alike in that regard.”
Unlike the vast majority of electronic music, Jasarevic recorded much of the instrumentation live instead of relying on samples, including Soulive/Lettuce’s Eric Krasno and Jasarevic’s touring guitarist Eric Mendelson.
“There’s a lot of guitar, bass, piano, all types of organs, lots of original vocals – more than any other record I’ve produced,” he says. “We recorded most of the instruments and I chopped and
re-sampled the recordings.”
In other words, rather than crate-digging for obscure sounds, Jasarevic created them.
Jasarevic buried himself in the studio with his three must-haves: “My Macbook Pro, a box of custom Gramatik Rolling Papers and a big bag of weed.” And the result was his heaviest, densest and most rock and roll work to date. Or as he says, “It combines all the genres I’ve been producing since the beginning in the most drastic, neurotic, cohesive and outrageous way imaginable.”
While The Age of Reason, the first release on his new, PLM-like label Lowtemp, won’t win over any classic rockers, it’s better paced and layered than a recording from your average EDM star. It’s dance music that tells a story. Jasarevic aims to pull off the same effect live.
“I like to play for over two hours so I can really tell a full story of my life as a producer,” he says. “I start off with chiller hip-hop beats, then get into my soulful electro-glitch stuff and end with my heaviest productions. It’s omni-tempo, omni-genre. Anything goes.”
Well, not just anything.
“The thing is, I get inspired by perfection,” he says. “That’s the kind of art that inspires me to be better at my craft – whatever it is that I’m doing.”
Credits to: Relix
Gramatik brings ReCoil Pt II to Cargo Concert Hall on November 2nd, 2019.
Special guests OPIUO and Balkan Bump!
Tickets available at Whitney Peak front desk, Melting Pot World Emporium and www.FreshBakin.com
18+ (with valid ID)
Show: 8:00 PM