So I am sure most you have heard of Gramatik, or at least his newest incarnation Grizmatik (Griz + Gramatik). For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about; quickly download his anthology, listen to it in its entirety, thank me, then revisit this post. Now that we are all familiar with his body of work you’ll agree that he has changed, as artists inevitably do. Gramatik’s first albums Street Bangers Vol.1, 2, and 3 are made up of instrumentals similar to what you would hear underneath a Mos Def album. They are smooth, melodic and free of any sounds that would inherently tie them to the current state of EDM. At first glance I thought I was listening to some old RJD2 or a new DJ Shadow side project (both would be beautiful things), but I wasn’t. This was young blood and it was exactly what I was looking for in 2009. It is now 2013, shouldn’t I want something new? Sure, but what I want more than anything and what I think is missing within electronic music, nostalgia.
Nostalgia is why I love Street Bangers, It gave me a sense of time and place. It made feel something, and not just a bass line kicking me in the chest at 128 beats per minute. Even listening to Beats and Pieces (Gramatik’s follow up to the SB volumes) incites dejá vu, like I have been here before and I really really enjoyed it! Lets make this clear, I am not bashing anything the man has put out recently. As a fan I can understand his new direction, but the fact of the matter is that I am still listening to Street Bangers Vol. 1-3 (circa 2009) on daily basis.
If you are like me and you’er partial to Gramatik’s early work then you are what he considers his snobby fan base. Now if snobby means I like what I like then by all means, I am a snob. Thankfully Gramatik doesn’t discriminate amongst his snobby fans and has recently released SB4. SB4, which I assume stands for Street Bangers Vol. 4, is a collection of B-sides from SB Vol. 1. The collection of 22 tracks (46 Mins) is exactly what you imagine it to be. Each song has a raw hip-hop vibe coupled with simple vocal samples and Gramatik’s signature glitch-hop style. The songs don’t sound as polished as as the other SB Volumes and some are obviously unfinished judging by their length. However the ambiance is undeniable and the riffs are just as intoxicating. Vibes are in abundance here and the ever elusive nostalgic quality is in full force. SB4 does its job in appeasing the snobbery and thats all we ever asked for.
Get the whole Album here: Soundcloud3