Saturday, 16 May 2009

Martyn – Great Lengths [3024]

Origianly writen for the Sonic Router...

Martyn has been making some of the most amazing music for some time but he really came to attention with his move into the dubstep tempo from his D’n’B roots with tracks like Broken on Revolve:r, his sublime remix of TRG’s Broken Heart on Hessle and Velvet the debut 12” on his very own 3024 imprint, which has now grown into its own with fore 12” and now its first long player the debut from Martyn Great Lengths.

The man really does have a sound of his own that he’s been known to call Martyn music and you can see why when you listen to his stuff or even listen to his sets. He is a true rhythm master making liquid drums flow in all directions taking in organic sounds like clicks, crackles and field recordings with heavy synth sounds to create something engaging to your brain and the dance floor.

On Great Lengths just like in his DJ sets Martyn spans many tempos and genres ranging from beat less atmospheric surges through house and techno before dropping off in dubstep county, there is no D’n’B number here though but I bet he slams some out on occasions. Because of this you get a real diverse selection on the album and it still really flows.

There are plenty of highlights like when the beat first kicks in on ‘Krdl-T-Grv’ and things are really rolling after the intro track you can feel the quality of Martyn’s productions and it makes you move.

Its rare you find a proper happy hands in the air dubstep style track but ‘Right?Star!’ is it and could well be an underground summer anthem in the making with its uplifting chords, bubbling arpeggios, Right?Star! vocal snips and monstrous bass sounds. Even the slightly more acidic ‘Little Things’ has a similar catchy sunshine vibe to it.

Continuing the light theme the dBridge collaboration ‘These Words’ does it with an end of the night melancholic feel. It’s the first full vocal number on Great Lengths with dBridge taking mic duties and really singing his heart out over moving chords, piano, deep bass and skippy drum patterns. The other vocal track is the Spaceape featuring ‘Is This Insanity?’ and it also comes off very well indeed, his dub poetry adds a dark paranoid depth to Martyn’s shiny productions.

The first house tinged number comes in the form of the Slam like ‘Seventy Four’ it really does remind me of a more organic skipping techno track you would find on Soma records, with a droning Reece like bass but the drums really set it apart with a massive low slung deep thud to the kick. ‘Hear Me’ is another rolling houser reminiscent of old skool tracks like ‘Jack Your Body’ with organ sounds to match. When Martyn does house tempos he doesn’t really deviate into straight four to the floor he kips it a bit off-kilter and swung, its got have funk.

Of course along with the light comes the dark, which comes in the form of ‘Vancouver’ it sounds huge on the album and even though it’s been out for some time as a 12” on 3024 its still as fresh as hell. The dubwise bass and basic channel-esq chords make for a dangerous heads down skank out combination its one hell of a roller. The darkside jacking techno beast that is ‘Elden St.’ and previously released ‘Natural Selection’ both have a very similar sound but with the latter being the more dubbed out, darker brother of the two with a massive dub bass, sublime chords and pitch shifted vocals.

Great Lengths is a cracking debut album and it shows where Martyn is at musically right now brilliantly. It really shows his skills and scope in production, its pretty much an immaculate listen in that sense. It may not win legions new fans from outside of the dance floor genres of techno, dubstep and D’n’B but it may well unite the ones that weren’t to sure, scraping them from the margins to enjoy the vibes. That’s not to say its just for the heads Martyn really does have the potential to share his music with a wide variety of music fans alike.

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