Wednesday, 29 April 2009
PRE-ORDER: Martyn - Great Lengths 
Martyn has been making some of the most amazing music across numerous genres for some time but he really came to attention with his move to 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 Audio and ‘Velvet,’ the debut 12” on his very own 3024 imprint. As a producer he’s carved an incredibly unique, rich sound of his own, that he’s been known to call ‘Martyn music’ on more than one occasion, and you really can see why when you listen to the stylistic textures and flow of this album.
On ‘Great Lengths’ Martyn spans many tempos and genres ranging from beat less atmospheric surges through to house and techno and within those areas it’s a little rare that you find a proper happy, ‘hands in the air’ style track at 140bpm but ‘Right?Star!’ could well be an underground summer anthem in the making with its uplifting chords, bubbling arpeggios, 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 a melancholic feel. It’s the first full vocal number on the album with fellow producer dBridge taking mic duties and really singing his falsetto heart out over moving chords, piano, deep bass and skippy drum patterns. The other vocal track included is the Spaceape laced ‘Is This Insanity?’ which also comes off glossy with his dub poetry adding a darkly paranoid depth to Martyn’s shiny productions.
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” it’s still as fresh as the day the master was cut. 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 displays his skills and scope when it comes to production and in that sense it’s pretty much an immaculate listen. It may not win legions new fans from outside of the dance floor genres of techno, dubstep and d&b but it may well unite the ones that weren’t quite sure.
Words: James Balf
Mid-week date night. Sountracked by Martyn and Benji B.