Exmag Release Debut Album, Proportions
Gramatik, Eric Mendelson, ILLUMNTR, Tyler Dondero, and Mike Iannatto have created a lovechild of funky R&B and synthy electronic music, and its name is Exmag. While this super group has mostly performed opening sets for group leader and soul, hip-hop, and funk producer Gramatik, and has released a few tracks (like their awesome remix of Blackstreet’s “No Diggity” and most recently “Tilt Mode,” featuring vocals from singer and producer Gibbz), Proportions marks their first full-length album. It has also been released on Gramatik’s recently established record label, Lowtemp. Packed with 18 cuts, their album features a mix of funk, soul, warm R&B baselines, and psychedelic synths as well as vocals by Gibbz, Jason Huber (of Cherub) and friends, and guitar licks by Eric Mendelson (of Gramatik).
If SoundCloud is down, listen here.
Exmag begins Proportions subtly with quiet, harmonic vocals, complemented by Mendelson on the guitar, in “True Love From the Future.” Next, enter the crunchy beat of “Persian Temptress,” a track sure to get you dancing with its funky, soulful guitar solos. Tracks like “We Run Shit,” “Junk in that Thang,” and “Proportions” (listen for “No Diggity” in the baseline here again) will keep this feeling going. “Tilt Mode (feat. Gibbs)” and “Juke (feat. Gibbs & Kianu)” pull the group out of the chill groove and into sing-able and catchy tracks with the potential to grab a great deal of popular attention. “Bob Illlin’” and, one of my personal favorites, “Takin’ It To the Max (feat. Branx, Russ Liquid, and Jesus [of Lettuce])” are two of the more heavily electronic tracks of the album, and help strike a balance between analog and digital elements. The pull of multiple genres and techniques of multiple producers, as well as the juxtaposition and blending of live and digital, make Proportions a standout album in the electronic scene. It’s breathing life and creativity back into a genre sometimes pegged as unoriginal or lacking significant skill. I’ll personally be playing this all year like it’s brand new every time.
For a taste of all the ingredients of Exmag, check out – listen all the way through, friends – “Fresh Prince (feat. Branx, Gibbs, & Jason Huber):” psychedelic, dance-able, sing-able, soulful, groovy, funky… Need a say more?
Exmag’s album Proportions is currently available for free download, and donations are welcome.
They have also been on tour with Gramatik for the past few months, with two more tour dates ahead of us. Here’s to hoping these guys creep into the festival circuit this summer.