This past Friday, Gramatik, Gibbz and Lowtemp Records held the ultra-sexy world premiere of Gibbzmatik at New York City’s Webster Hall. Originally scheduled at a Brooklyn club called SRB, this show quickly sold out and was moved to the larger Webster Hall. Packed to the brim with eager fans when the main doors opened around 12. Illumntr was up first, setting the intimate vibe of the night while keeping the set consistently funky. The duo were playing tracks from their new EP “Soul Sister” and really impressed me with how many instruments they played, changing so often they at one point dared the crowd to count how many were on the stage. These guys killed it, and I rarely saw an empty set of hands throughout the duration of their set.
Next up came my personal Lowtemp favorite BRANX, who continues to impress me that much more as I catch his sets more and more often. He is a mad scientist across the decks, mixing his own future funk/glitch hop productions with fantastic song samples from genres spanning tribal house to electro, and even dropped a Prince tune when the time called for it. His live shows demand a nonstop dance party, and this night was no different.
If you haven’t had an opportunity to see Exmag as of yet, I’ll be the first to say that you’re missing out. You can hear influences from R&B to Blues, Glitch hop to street bass all meshed together to make a sound which is at once brand new and vintage. Their sound is evolving and funky yet remains classic and signature. Seeing these three on stage feels more akin to seeing a live band than most DJ acts. I’m also excited that Eric Mendelson, who has made a name for himself over the years infusing Gramatik’s live shows with his amazing guitar work, has announced that he’s devoting himself to Exmag full-time. The combined talent of these guys is truly unbelievable.
After much anticipation Gibbz and Gramatik took the stage, finally unveiling their newest project; Gibbzmatik. Needless to say, the two tastefully served up an epic dance party for the crowd into the wee hours of the morning. Although he may not have the largest catalogue yet, the addition of Gibbz to Gramatik’s already powerful set gave it a much more up-beat, almost nu-disco vibe without sacrificing any of the style and intensity fans have come to expect from a Gramatik set. Keeping in form with his string of other recent NY shows, it didn’t take long for the stage to fill up with other label mates and friends including Eric Bloom from Lettuce on horns and support from the Pretty Lights Music live band, to show fans exactly what Gramatik had in store for his upcoming tour. By the time their set ended with “Illusion of Choice”, it was almost five in the morning, and fittingly, the dance floor was still half packed with kids visibly exhausted from a night of dancing, but had no choice but to continue the booty shaking. I believe that’s what anyone would call a success.