In case you don’t know him, GRiZ is 21-year-old Detroit native Grant Kwiecinski, who has been gaining traction in the EDM scene over the past year. His remixes and carefully composed tracks began to get picked up by some heavy-hitters off SoundCloud earlier this year, then GRiZ hit a handful of summer festivals to showcase his skills and introduce some of the music from Mad Liberation.
Finally, just before setting out on a fall and winter tour
with explosively successful Colorado natives Big Gigantic
, GRiZ graced us with his debut LP, Mad Liberation.
Electronic music blog The Dankles
touts this album as the most innovative, groundbreaking and important electronic release since Skrillex’s 2010 My Name is Skrillex.
What Skrillex brought to the forefront of the cultural conversation, GRiZ has meticulously crafted and perfected. The quality of production, depth of composition and expansiveness across genres define this game-changing album. As The Dankles put it; “A pinch of Skrillex, a dash of Big Gigantic’s soul, Gramatik’s jazz, and Dillon Francis’ chaos, framed with Daft Punk’s patience, Pretty Lights’ flow, and the shock factor of Bassnectar. POW! You’ve got GRiZ.” A fusion of influences, plus a masterful musicianship and precise technique, combine in a well-rounded and groundbreaking effort.
Our favorite track off this 12-track, independently produced LP is “Best I’ve Ever Been”. It starts with a jazzy intro (reminiscient of Gramatik) then slides into a Spanish language sample with haunting echoes. About one minute in, the track drops into funky hip-hop beats and Tupac and Biggie samples. Around the three minute mark the feel gets heavier and 16-bit and grinding synths remind you that you’re listening to a producer who prides himself of only the highest production quality. Then he seamlessly slides you back into that electro-soul groove that hooked you from the start.
GRiZ is a musician’s musician. He aims to deliver timeless, quality tracks rather than mountains of remixes and mashups just to keep SoundCloud followers distracted. While one-off tracks can be fun, it is admirable to see an artist conceptualize an album as a whole and deliver such a comprehensive and beautiful effort. While it’s not the same as our parents’ ritual of dropping a needle onto fresh vinyl, take the time to queue up SoundCloud, and sit down and give this album a listen start to finish. It’s that kind of album.
For an in-depth album review, check out this one from The Dankles
Or Download Mad Liberation for free on