“Denis Jašarević is one of Brooklyn’s most compelling producers. His signature brand of electro-funk has helped to make him one of festival season’s biggest names.” – FREE WILLIAMSBURG
“For Gramatik, what he does is more than just a performance. It’s his ideal classroom, using music as his voice, and inspiring his ‘pupils’ to learn and evolve.” – RVA MAG
“Giving new meaning to old school beats, DJ/producer Gramatik gives today’s hip-hop happy youth a lesson in funk, jazz, and swing by expertly mixing the sounds of the past with the present (and the future). It’s time-traveling glitch-hop twerking its way through the jitterbug.”
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, painstakingly crafting his most sonically sprawling and ambitious record yet. Fans will finally be treated to the Slovenia-born producer’s long-awaited new album, Epigram, when it’s released on March 25 via his own label, Lowtemp Music. Staying true to Gramatik’s belief in “freeing music, by making music free” the collection will be available for free download, as well as at traditional paid download outlets, including iTunes and Beatport
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. In 2016, he’s already confirmed for festivals like Exit, Roskilde, Open Air St. Gallen, Dour, Amsterdam Open Air, Montreux Jazz 50th Celebration, Mysteryland USA and Osheaga. 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.
Even though he is a globally recognized electronic musician/artist – part of a caste of people not exactly known for their strong political stances or discussions about the latest scientific discoveries – Denis Jasarevic aka Gramatik has always maintained a position of what might be called an “engaged citizen.” Meaning he would rather talk about serious issues our society is facing instead of posting ridiculous selfies or engaging in silly Twitter arguments. His views on free music sharing are widely known, as is his admiration for people of character from the fields of science, comedy, art and technology. Especially some of their concise, lucid and often hilarious statements – epigrams – which regularly provide the initial inspiration for his music. So much so that he decided to name his latest album “Epigram”.
It’s body brevity, and wit it’s soul.”
—Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Condensing the point you’re trying to make into a short sentence or two is an art form in itself. When combined with lucidity, boldness and humour, the greatest epigrams in history are unapologetic slices of wisdom that hit harder than life.
This is why Gramatik and his team decided to transform the simple cover art into something much bigger. Their aim was to make a step further and introduce Epigram album art to the public in a broader and visually collaborative form. During 2015 the team was hard at work, creating a completely new visual language – an alphabet where each letter is assigned a specific iconographic connotation. This means that when the album drops on March 25th, fans will be able to come up with their own epigrams, create their own unique, individual Epigram album art and share it with the world.
The Epigram alphabet is a brain child of the amazing multi-disciplinary collective Multipraktik – headed by chief creative forces Nina Vrhovec & Miha Brodaric – who came up with the idea and implemented it impeccably. As per usual, one might say, as they are also the masterminds behind all of Gramatik’s incredibly creative visual output from the last two years. After completing the intricate alphabet of symbols it was time to start working on the Epigram album art generator. This became a collaborative project where Multipraktik joined forces with talented visual artist Jono Brandel, best known for his projects Patatap and Typatone (http://works.jonobr1.com) and two young graphic designers, Lucijan Kranjc and Srdjan Prodanovic (www.ljudje.si).
Denis Jasarevic, better known to the world as Gramatik, has maintained the position of a man dedicated to reason and logic throughout his career. Famous for his adoration for one of the greatest visionaries the world has ever witnessed, Nikola Tesla, he is an ever vigilant proponent of scientific development, critical thinking and public debate. This was a strong reason why his latest album is titled “Epigram”.