Hearing Aide: Gramatik ‘Epigram’

Epigram, a short saying representing a larger meaning or idea. The album art for Gramatik’s ninth album, Epigram, is the epigram. Being an outspoken advocate of free music sharing, Gramatik often engages in discussion on Twitter. The concise and lucid quips people send in 140 characters – epigrams – are often the initial inspiration for his music, which led to the album’s name.

Epigram is a short, yet powerful, album featuring collaborations with many popular names in hip hop, such as Raekwon, ProbCause, and Adrian Lau. The album’s 10 tracks span the range of electronic music and includes bits of dubstep, downtempo, and straight up electronic hip hop. Gramatik strays from his usual sampling of music from the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s and ’70s for his latest release. Instead, he chose to sample the music of his musician friends. The result is a concise album that flows from track to track and keeps the listener engaged and awaiting the next hook or beat to drop.

“Tempus Illusio” kicks off Epigram with a short, intensifying tune. “Satoshi Nakamoto” is a rap, loosely based on Bitcoin, invented by Satoshi Nakamoto, sung over jazzy samples. It features both Adrian Lau and ProbCause trading up the vocal duties. “War of the Currents” is straight up dubstep. Gramatik remixes Laibach’s “Eat Liver!” into a more danceable track with elements of dubstep and house. The album closes out with the more downtempo “Anima Mundi,” featuring Russ Liquid, which nicely bookends the first track.

Overall, Epigram is an excellent collection of beats displaying Gramatik’s skills. In staying true to his ideals, the album is available as a free download or through traditional paid download outlets, such as iTunes and Amazon.

Key tracks: Satoshi Nakamoto, Native Son, Native Son Prequel, Back to the Future