Album review: Gramatik's '#DigitalFreedom'
The latest release doesn't quite meet the DJ's usual standards.
When: 8:30 p.m. Wednesday
Where: The Blue Note
To promote the idea of freeing music, DJ Gramatik released his album #DigitalFreedom last year and made it available for free. The Slovenian artist is known for mashing early childhood musical influences into his electronic mixes, but this last release marked a departure from his eclectic sound.
In earlier releases like Beatz & Pieces Vol.1, there is an abundance of different music genres including jazz, blues, soul, funk and an occasional sound bite from some of his film influences, such as Alfred Hitchcock and Samuel L. Jackson. Those pieces set him apart from the crowd as he transformed an older generation sound into the new electronic beat.
#DigitalFreedom stands for a great purpose, but the music is equivalent to the talent of any other wanna-be DJ. The beat and rhythm is repetitive throughout all six tracks, and the synths just do not correlate, giving it a cheesy sound effect. Just when the same beat does not seem to go on for long enough, Gramatik tries to add the element of surprise, but in all honestly, the techniques he uses in this album have already been done before time and time again.
The track “23 Flavors” has subtle pieces of Gramatik's original quality as it incorporates sound bites of James-Brown-like yelps near the end. “Talkbox Intended” is not all that fantastic since it sounds like a remixed version of the type of music played at roller rinks back in the 90s, but it does have a unique old-school funk technique dominating the overall style.
Fresh off an overseas tour, Gramatik is currently embarking on his Age of Reason tour throughout the U.S. while working on yet another album. HeRobust and Cherub will join Gramatik at The Blue Note on Wednesday night.