Musicians are undoubtedly influenced by the music they listen to. An artist's musical selections can sometimes even foretell what a next album might sound like. So if you've ever wondered what the artists who grace your stereo are getting funky to, here's your chance to find out. Every week, I'll ask traveling musicians -- as well as a few locals -- the fated question: What are you listening to right now?
Denis Jasarvic, more commonly known as Gramatik, is arguably the most progressive electronic producer in the dance culture today. His latest release, Beatz & Pieces Vol. 1, which dropped in July, is a successor series to 2008's Street Bangerz series, which made him famous in the first place.
And with his new record comes a new record label: The Slovenian producer recently signed with Pretty Lights Music, a decision he claims will take his music to the next level both musically and professionally.
Pretty Lights Music hosted an after-party at The Green Elephant after the rage-tastic Identity Festival last weekend, where other artists on the label (such as Michal Menert and SuperVision) also played. In between womps and wobbles, we go the chance to talk music with Jasarvic and first-hand witness the brotherhood of the PLM record label.
Currently jamming: Pretty Lights
"I always ask Derek [Smith of Pretty Lights] to give me some of his new shit. I'm inspired by his work, and hearing his new stuff makes me want to create more music of my own. We [on Pretty Lights Music] are a family. We've got chemistry. We're all good friends. We have fun, we make music together and we tour together."
Where his music's heading: into the unknown abyss that is creative expression.
"I have no fucking idea [where my music is progressing]. It's not so much about inspiration as it is about trying to incorporate genres that I really like at the moment. I want to always do that sort of boom-bap beat style for all the old-school hip-hop fans that grew up listening to that like I did. But, at the same time, I'm trying to develop my own signature style with all the genres I like listening to, and make one cohesive picture. I want it to come out as something people will hear and say, 'Oh, that's Gramatik.'"
Where the two roads meet: two albums annually to both accommodate Gramatik's dedication to his roots and his dedication to instrumental progression.
"What I'm trying to do every year is drop two projects, one of them being the Beatz & Pieces series, where I connect to my roots -- instrumental hip-hop with expanded arrangements and then maybe some live instrumentation on top of that. And then another project I want to do every year is my pet project, which was No Shortcuts last year, and is going to be Never Been the Silent Type this year. That's more glitch and dubstep and electro, combined with hip-hop beats and funk and soul."