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cyberpunk 2020

Gramatik and Luxas synthesize dark and gloomy dystopian world on ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ LP [Album Review]

Imagine a dystopian society in which humans are capable of modifying their bodies through advanced biotechnology in unimaginable ways. In this world, one’s mind and body could be enhanced by implants and other devices in order to survive a chaotic, apocalyptic world where power and glamour dictate everything. Whether people can imagine this world or not doesn’t matter. Because the developers and video game designers at CD Projekt have created it — in the form of an open-world, action-adventure, role-playing game called Cyberpunk 2077.

The new Cyberpunk videogame series game, set to be released on December 10, has die-hard gamers foaming from the mouth to experience the highly-anticipated role-playing game (RPG). But the upcoming release has piqued the interests of people outside the gaming world as well, including dance music producer and sound architect, Gramatik

Alongside Luxas, a fellow Slovenian producer signed to Gramatik’s Lowtemp record label, the two have composed a 17-song OST album, titled Cyberpunk 2020, which depicts the year 2020 if it was a Cyberpunk movie. This isn’t the first time the Slovenian powerhouse duo have teamed up to create a film score, with features already under their belt such as The Condor, Duality, and Last Night In New York, and animated short Autonomous.

Here is what Gramatik had to say about the newest project in a press release:

Luxas and I decided to score some of the key world events from the first half of 2020 as if they were scenes unfolding in a cyberpunk movie. This is the soundtrack to the film that never was.”

Gramatik

A known movie buff, Gramatik is said to have used inspiration from movies like Blade Runner, The Matrix, and A Clockwork Orange to construct the story depicted in his latest album. The album was created entirely with modular/analog synthesizers and hardware. So listeners shouldn’t expect the ambient-, downtempo-loaded album to make them want to get up and start grooving; at least not as one would while listening to Gramatik’s Beatz&Pieces or Street Bangers LPs.

What fans can expect is a dark, damp, sonic journey that paints a vivid picture blurring the lines between reality and science-fiction. With dystopian vibes littered throughout the songs, feelings of hopelessness shadowed by mystery and doubt are clearly the underlying motifs of the album. Many of the songs carry low ominous tones that hum through layers of synths, appearing and disappearing in calm, but climactic stages.

One moment, the listener is walking down a dark alleyway filled with hopelessness in “Wrong Info.” Then, at “Komut,” the tempo starts to lift, with an aura of confidence and futuristic undertones scattered throughout the track. Later on, Gramatik and Luxas provide listeners with the thought that perhaps there may be light at the end of the tunnel, in the slightly more hopeful track, “Home.” Between gentle piano keys and layers of softly laid synthesizers, the duo shows a glimmer of optimism, but only for a moment.

At about halfway through the album the listener encounters “Leptir,” a song with similar vibes to “Home,” in which listeners can almost see a ray of hope amongst a decaying/abysmal environment. But again, the feelings are fleeting, only lasting for 74 seconds until it evaporates like the last drop of water in a lake that was once beautiful and flowing. In the song that follows, called “Praying Mantis,” the Slovenian producers spin a synth web made by robotic spiders, clearly exemplifying how exploratory they intend the album to be. 

While at times it can be difficult to discern one track from the next, that doesn’t take away from the fact of how beautifully composed and produced each song was. But don’t go into the album expecting the Gramatik you might hear at sets like the one he played at Electric Forest or Camp Bisco. More fitting for a session inside of a sensory deprivation tank, the album is certainly modest, but still exemplifies the range and diverse capabilities of Gramatik’s and Luxas’ sound engineering prowess and complimentary styles.

Gramatik & Luxas – Cyberpunk 2020 OST

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