Martyn, Masks/Viper

[Brainfeeder]


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Plenty of dance music producers make a splash, but it’s rare that an artist truly cannonballs, practically drenching the scene in their influence. Martijn Deykers — Martyn to most — is one of these producers. Beginning with his “Velvet/Twenty Four” 12″ in 2007 and building to his 2009 full-length debut, Great Lengths, Martyn forged a kind of parallel dubstep universe, one as full of color as it was heavy with bass. If records from that heady era soundtracked a kind of fantasy club that didn’t quite exist yet, then the records that followed — and it’s worth noting that Martyn’s output since 2010 has teasingly slowed to a trickle — have been something like bass music vérité: On records like his Berghain 04 exclusive “Miniluv” or his All City-released collab with Mike Slott, or even his Fabric compilation, Martyn has lobbed bombs squarely at today’s floors, not so much advancing the dance as injecting it with the kind of serious grooves it so desperately needs. So on the eve of his next full-length, Ghost People, Martyn isn’t currently innovative so much as he’s articulate. But as “Masks/Viper,” the album’s teaser 12″, reveals, sharper teeth change surprisingly little about this guy’s bite.

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Kicking off with “Masks,” Martyn immediately locks us into a 4/4 stomp with crispy percussion and a forceful bass line. It’s a businesslike beginning, but as bleepy synths start bubbling up and the layers start stacking up and reshuffling, you realize that there’s still plenty of music happening here, even in a track so perfectly pitched at DJs. The effect is even apparent on the two edits of “Viper” found on the B-side: both slam hard on the back of very intelligent arranging. The kick-free, swirling Ghost People Edit plays like an extended, standalone breakdown. The London’s Arches Edit, though, presents us with the full package: for a dense, sweaty six-plus minutes, Martyn sends a chameleon bass line barreling down an obstacle course of prickly synths, hiccuping vocal snippets, and curve-ball claves. The tones are low and that bass line certainly points downward, but somehow Martyn keeps the tune buoyant and lighthearted. Though he’s given us a couple of club bombs in advance of his full-length, make no mistake: these tracks are deeply insidious, raising the collective heart rate of the floor without drawing an inordinate amount of attention to themselves. You won’t get completely scrambled, but you’ll certainly get pumped up.

Henderick AKA Thelonious Funk  on August 27, 2011 at 7:28 AM

This is pure filth. Nice release…

Blaktony  on August 29, 2011 at 8:09 PM

Nasty.

Trackbacks

Little White Earbuds August Charts 2011 | Little White Earbuds  on September 2, 2011 at 10:06 AM

[…] Nebraska, “The Cruives” [Rush Hour Recordings] (buy) 07. Martyn, “Masks” [Brainfeeder] (buy) 08. Cavalier, “Uzunyayla (Hallucinatory Narcosis)” [Drumpoet […]

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