Ten years ago to the date, Gramatik debuted his very first album in SB 1. Since that time, he’s released countless records, launched an indie imprint in Lowtemp Music, and introduced his very own cryptocurrency. So when Gramatik takes five years between releasing another full-length studio album, it’s because he was busy changing the face of the music industry.
Now, Gramatik has delivered the long-anticipated newest installment in his Street Bangerz album series, SB 5. The Brooklyn-based electro-funk engineer crafts a smooth and soulful 12-track journey that is as raw and passionate in its storyline as it is natural and effortless in its production. From the album’s first track, “No Place Like NY” all the way up until it’s closing title, “Muy Tranquilo,” Gramatik exhibits the fortitude of a veteran beat maker whose found his flow.
Always one to fuse contemporary hip-hop beats with the throwback vibes and nostalgic instruments of soul, Gramatik consistently brings that synergy into a funky, low-tempo electronic honeymoon. Certainly, Gramatik is married to his New York jazz roots. Roots that are deeply embedded into his latest SB5 project, with sequences that feel a lot like those of fellow New Yorker Alicia Keys.
All in all, SB5 is jam-packed with fun, light-hearted progressions, wherein songs flow cohesively into the next. After time progresses, the entire project begins to feel like a larger narrative converging onto one mellow, yet energetic sonic canvas. Then it’s all over before one even knows it, leaving listeners with immense feelings of joy and tranquil satisfaction — but also leaving them wondering where all the time went.