National Album Review: “The Age of Reason” by Gramatik

Posted on February 03, 2014 in Album Reviews, Arts & Culture, Uncategorized
By Francis Flisiuk

Sam Hill | The Free Press

The Age of Reason defies standards in electronic music albums featuring 15 dynamic tracks that are rich in innovation and variety.
The Slovenian born DJ Gramatik, whose real name is Denis Jasarevic, has been busy creating his own record label Lowtemp and crafting this gem of an album that’s been released after much anticipation.

The Age of Reason is one of those rare albums that’s almost impossible to describe as a whole because of the extreme variance in each track. Gramatik mixes big beats with only the best sounds from a wide range of genres like electronic, funk, soul, glitch hop, house and even a little jazz for an album stocked with tunes to fit any occasion, but all head-bob worthy. The only commonality that can be found amongst these catchy and diverse tracks is that they are all very easy to listen to. The variety and natural sounding quality makes this the kind of album you can dance to, work to, drive to, even study to.

While it seems like the album is suffering from a bit of identity crisis from the impressively different styles in each track, half the fun is just anticipating what you’ll hear next by skipping around on the album. Gramatik’s strength is in his versatility as an artist to include classic piano and guitar sounds, with hyper kinetic beats for a seamless blend of both old and new. “You Don’t Understand,” the second single on the album, starts off with a smooth funk guitar riff but then progresses into a more futuristic mix that could only be described as elegantly filthy. The Age of Reason is a refreshing step in the right direction for electronic music, straying away from the muddled vocals on top of overly aggressive dubstep bass wobbles that has become trendy in the past few years. These tracks won’t give you the dubstep headache that most mainstream DJs and bands often do.

“Torture” is a must-listen featuring vocals from Eric Krasno, which features lush electric beats paired with an infectious guitar riff that’s reminiscent of The Black Keys. And if the work of Gramatik alone wasn’t enough, a lot of tracks feature the production collective of Exmag, which includes other top-notch produces, such as SuperNicer, Mike Iannatto, and ILLUMNTR.

This is an album that embraces the fresh and energetic feel of electronica but with plenty of nostalgic nods to a funkier more soulful style. The Age of Reason is a distinctly unique spin on electronic music that benefits from its hybrid quality of blending fresh beats with classic instrumentals. The Age of Reason is an electronic game-changer. Oh, and don’t go rushing to the nearest record store to grab a copy, because Gramatik is offering his entire album free to download through his Soundcloud page.