GRiZ released his debut album, Mad Liberation, less than a week ago, but it’s already making huge waves in the electronica community. In lieu of joining the horde of current EDM artists releasing fairly straightforward house music day after day, GRiZ has taken a more alternative approach to creating his unique brand of electronica. He has combined the heavy sub-bass tendencies of modern dubstep with a medley of other styles, including jazz, funk, and hip hop. The 21-year-old producer describes his music as “electro soul” and “future funk,” titles which, upon listening to Mad Liberation, seem to be quite accurate.
I would first like to quote GRiZ’s own description of the album, as there is certainly no individual more qualified to address it than he:
This collection of noise – to me – became an album, a sound in a whole, an idea free from limits of thought and more an idea of the heart and soul. Mad Liberation is a piece of me that is representative of my past, breathes life into my present, and is a taste of the future.
I don’t have fancy recording equipment, amazing speakers, crazy keyboards, complicated sample packs, proper studio time, cutting edge midi controllers, or outboard mixing gear.
What I do have is an endless imagination of the future/now, unrelenting will, constant fascination, and a heart that has no capacity to stop loving and trying.
This business – when you boil it down – is not about the machine, but about the man. Even electronic music is humanistic. We breath life into these dead things to make them whisper and ROAR!! I am inspired by that fact, and this is what sets me free.
It’s evident that this is a man who is profoundly inspired by the nature of music and how he can harness it. It is predominantly for this reason that Mad Liberation is being featured here on Audio Intimacy. As I have said in the past, the quality of music is not based on genre, lyrics, chord progressions, or anything else of that sort. Every composer creates the music that speaks to his or her own inner vision of the creative world, and it is through this realization that we can truly empathize with their music. On GRiZ’s debut album, every song is immensely soulful with a strong, modernistic, electronica vibe.
From the lo-fi, jazzy piano on “Mr. B” to the aggressive wobble sounds on “Blastaa,” Mad Liberation encompasses the whole audio spectrum, and blurs the lines between distinct genres. This is how it should be for any musician – a conglomeration of previous experiences and influences, both musical and existential. Artists like GRiZ do an exceptional job of conveying that pure sense of inspiration and soul to the listener, a trait which adds a great deal to the overall experience. Tracks such as “Fall In Love Too Fast” bring forth the more sentimental side of GRiZ’s musicianship with a distinct trip hop vibe, while “Smash the Funk” and “Rock N Roll” cover all things funky, chunky, and skunky (to use the proper musical terminology).
Mad Liberation is definitely deserving of a listen (or several) if you’re interested in electronica-infused fusion, or if you’re simply interested in discovering how another person’s creative mind works. If that isn’t enough, the entire album is available for free download on GRiZ’s website, here. Download, listen, enjoy, and grow musically.