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Mixing that electro thump with the sample-heavy boom-bap of hip-hop, DJ/producer Gramatik was born in Portoroz, Slovenia, but he always seemed bound for Brooklyn. It was an older sister with a large cassette collection who turned the young Gramatik on to tapes of funk, jazz, R&B, and other genres that naturally lent themselves to dancefloors. By the time he was 13, he was making beats on his PC, and by his late teens, his productions had earned him a loyal fan base and, eventually, the attention of the Colorado-based Pretty Lights. The like-minded producer signed Gramatik to his web label, also dubbed Pretty Lights, and released his Beatz & Pieces, Vol. 1 album in 2011. The #DigitalFreedom EP followed in 2012, along with Gramatik’s new apartment in Brooklyn. He founded his own label, Lowtemp, in 2013, and only increased the pace of his recordings, giving away beat-heavy albums like SB#4 and Coffee Shop Selection even as he released proper LPs such as The Age of Reason in 2014 and Epigram in 2016. (Both of the latter charted on Billboard’s Top Electronic Albums.) ~ David Jeffries