GRiZ

Today at age 24, GRiZ (or Grant Kwiecinski, to his mom) is already being hailed as visionary. This spring, he'll release Say It Loud (via his All Good Records imprint), a follow-up to its more funk-step predecessors, Rebel Era and Mad Liberation. With assists from rapper Talib Kweli, Afrobeat-group Antibalas, the L.A.'s Children's Chorus, and others, his new full-length finds a golden mean between an abundance of brass instruments, liberal use of soulful vocals, and shimmering, synth beats.

Modern gadgets may bring his creations together, but GRiZ is, at heart, a time traveler. The name Say It Loud is an homage to James Brown's funk-soul spirit and pioneering messages of equality. The horns throughout the album shout-out to GRiZ's favorite albums, Miles Davis' masterpiece, Sketches of Spain. And GRiZ's outsize live shows at local DIY spots such as Scrummage University not only earned him his name and convinced him to drop out of college—it referenced a legacy of Detroit dance pioneers from the Belleville Three to the Detroit Techno Militia. ("They created the opinion and the space for me to be able to come and do my own thing," he says, respectfully.)

More than a year-and-a-half of his life went into writing and recording Say It Loud. GRiZ began, of course, in Detroit, then moved to a remote cabin upstate with Exmag to escape the trappings of city cacophony and cell-phone service. From there, he landed in Brooklyn at Daptone Records' studio, collaborating with Antibalas. And he hit Los Angeles just to work with the Children's Chorus on the album's opener, "The Anthem." The change of scenery is necessary, he insists, "Because seeing a different place, you catch the different vibes, feeling of that place."

Finally, late last year, he dropped the funk-fuzz single "A Fine Way to Die" (co-written with singer-songwriter Orlando Napier) to tease his newly evolved sound. "That song was the atypical GRiZ song. It was the heart and soul of the album and gave you a little of everything: the bass stuff, the rhythm stuff, the horns, the vocals, the guitar," he says, adding: "It is a wild, interesting song with movements to it."

"Stop Trippin," co-written with vocalist Jessie Arlen, advances that sonic dialogue with his fans. "That song is basically where I am right now," he says. "I want to write better songs. I want to write contemporary funk songs. I want to produce an album that kind of has the new James Brown singing on it. You know what I'm saying? Something that sounds like it was made at Muscle Shoals."

If GRiZ sounds wiser than his years to you, you're not the only one. "I remember first meeting Mike Avery who sang on 'The Anthem.' When I met him in person, he was like, 'Holy shit, man, I thought you were going to be a 40-year-old dude! How do you come up with these songs?" As ambitious as Say It Loud may seem, this is a natural next step for GRiZ, who thrives on bending genres. "I could've sampled everything. Most of my music is created for a live experience," he notes. "But now, I really want a body of work that is 100% my own."

The Geek x Vrv

These eclectic french artists distill a subtle, dynamic and percussive sound, combining funk, jazz and soul into a perfect blend. The Geek x Vrv have been rising to the stars since the release of their EP's, their bookings on numerous festivals and supporting international acts like Gramatik, Zeds dead, Savant & Dillon Francis. With forthcoming EP's on Adapted records & Otodayo records and an incredible 1 million views on their track 'it's because' after only 4 month, they are most definetly an act you've got to see in 2014.

Haywyre consists of Martin Vogt, who has been studying piano since the age of six. His interest in the production of various genres of electronic music and piano instrumentals began growing when he lived in Austria; there, he was exposed to jazz and hip-hop for the first time. Shortly after moving back to the U.S. in 2008, Haywyre was created. Now, his mission can be defined by providing his listeners with music that presents variety, originality, and ideas stemming from his jazz and classical knowledge base. The most general description to Martin's sound can be described as memorable melodies and (jazz / classically influenced) chord progressions in the context of progressive electronic music. Synthetic and organic elements combine in works inspired by artists such as Noisia, Flying Lotus, KOAN Sound, Hans Zimmer, Clint Mansell, Austin Peralta, and Abdullah Ibrahim. His main compositional tool is the piano; countless nights are spent drafting harmonic and melodic outlines by improvising. For live performances, Haywyre also includes his akai mpk 88 to perform the melodies while triggering the stems to the rest of the pieces. His guitar work can also be heard in many tracks (and sometimes other instruments, such as the Duduk, as well). So far, he has mastered every release himself (except the Draw The Line EP).

$20.00 - $30.00

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