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There are a very small number of phrases in the English language that get me as excited as the words “new Gramatik“. This week was a pretty damn good one for me, then, as the Slovenian phenom decided to grace us all with another sample of his signature funky, bouncy, genre-clash style. “Bluestep”, the first track off of his upcoming album “The Age of Reason”, is the next stage in the evolution of a mastermind who always seems to be evolving. 2012 was Gramatik’s biggest year yet, as he dropped his #digitalfreedom EP in the spring in spent this past fall touring with none other than Bassnectar, and that’s all in addition to his appearances alongside former labelmate Pretty Lights.
I say “former” because “The Age of Reason” isn’t just Gramatik’s next step musically; last week, he announced via Facebook that he would be making the release on his own label, Lowtemp. The departure from PLM was a friendly one (“Don’t get me wrong, PLM is PLF for life”)–but a dude who’s been a champion of digital freedom since he first cut his teeth in the industry with his free file sharing, music-by-the-people, for-the-people attitude was always gonna end up on his own label. While the plan (so far) is just to release his own music and that of his close friends on Lowtemp for now, I for one can’t wait to see how this plays out over the next couple of years, especially if ties with PLM are, in fact, still strong.
As for “Bluestep”, well, the track’s title says both everything and nothing about it. It seems to be a nod to everything that Gramatik is about–that is, an absolute refusal to be held prisoner by the boundaries that come with the ascribed genres of the EDM industry and, perhaps above all else, an utter devotion to soulful, bluesy, dubby goodness. When he describes his sound as “genre clash”, he means it in the most literal sense; from the heavy opening bassline to the funky bass hook to the soulful, smoky vocal samples, “Bluestep” is a clinical blend of blues, jazz, funk, soul and dirty, grinding beats. Check it out, download link below!