Russian producer, Grabstein (aka Hieronymus Grabstein), has been experimenting with music since 2006. His songs have a unique blend of deep bass, breakbeat rhythms, ethnic tunes, and mesmerizing melodies that explore his quest for the inner self. On his latest instrumental release, ‘Syzygy’, the producer takes the listener on a psychedelic journey through a blend of intricately selected dark-electro elements that create a space that’s both dusky and intriguing at the same time.
The just over four-minute-long track is introduced with a slightly distorted synth melody over a minimal yet complex percussion pattern. Shadowy atmospheres take to create a sort of haunting soundscape that is quite immersive right from the start. The track progresses, getting a bit louder with the addition of a deep and wobbly bass along with a stompy kick that sets the groove. From the dynamic synthesizers that move throughout the sonic space, there’s a sort of ethnic vibe that I would like to think will go over well at a psy festival!
It’s amazing how ‘Syzygy’ grows as it progresses, just like the jungle does with time. Grabstein calls himself a junglist, and I can’t really think of a better word to describe the artist. Jungle music is characterized by the blend of a few simple yet effective elements that don’t really fill the frequency spectrum completely and leave room for the listener’s imagination. I think Grabstein has done a fantastic job on this track mixing elements of drum & bass, dark-psy and ambient soundscapes.
With two releases on Spotify this year, Grabstein has started sharing his signature sound with the world and I feel his music can’t really be compared to many other artists because of its idiosyncratic nature. In an industry flooded with a plethora of pop songs and EDM music, the producer shows us that there’s more to the world of music, so take a few minutes and experience the magic of ‘Syzygy’!
Grabstein was very happy to speak with us and we are happy to share what he had to say about his solo career and journey so far
Q1 – You’ve mentioned in your bio that you are a junglist. What could you share about jungle music and how did you first get into creating music of this genre?
I first started writing music in 2006. Then I got a job at a recording studio and was amazed at the quality of the studio sound. A lot of different equipment (synthesizers, drum machines) opened up tremendous opportunities for experimentation. I had access to the studio and slowly started writing my tracks. It was a jungle that still holds an important place in my heart.
Q2 – With a slightly dark and haunting vibe, “Syzygy” is a track that has a completely different vibe as compared to the mainstream music we hear today. What advice do you have for listeners who want to transition into genres that are a bit out of the ordinary?
I would recommend expanding the horizons of perception rather than drifting along with the mainstream. You see, in any musical genre, you can find out projects that are close to you. The main thing is to have the proper interest. I advise you to start your acquaintance with underground labels and go through their musicians. There are always treasures hidden there!
Q3 – The instrumentation on “Syzygy” is quite bizarre and very interesting at the same time. What instruments do you use to create such sounds and what is your production process like?
I modulate the sounds of the mainshock parts and based on their boll of the bomb of the parts atmospheric sound myself. I try to use the minimum number of samples, including one-shots and ready presets. I also screw the sounds myself using Wave Table Synthesis and Synthesis Modelare.
Q4 – “Torsion” and “Syzygy” are your two latest releases on Spotify. What more can we expect from Grabstein in the future?
Oh, a lot of crazy tracks are being prepared ahead. The next will be a release with vocals, made in an epic-ethnic style. By genre, this is a mixture of Darkstep and Liquid funk. And a bit of rock! So, even got interested in it) And then we will prepare for the release of Jungle EP (such atmospheric old school!).
Q5 – Which musicians have been your biggest influences?
My first acquaintance with the power of drum-n-bass began when I was working in the studio and heard Current Value, Technical Itch, and Black Sun Empire. They influenced me greatly and instilled in me a love for powerful and fast broken rhythms. In general, the dark scene of drum&bass has especially inspired me for many years, we attended Therapy Sessions (music festival series), which determined my musical tastes in those years. Later I got acquainted with the work of Aphrodite and began to explore more classical DNB. From modern performers I like Amoss, also from mainstream drum&bass, they are strongly inspired by Drumsound & Bassline Smith, and Technimatic, groove, and vibes are mines as much as possible. Well, I cannot fail to note the work of Anile, which penetrates the very heart and, unfortunately, the already closed duet from Russia Marso & Gala, which amazed me with its sincerity and fabulous beauty, not typical for most liquid and intelligent tracks.