You know when an album has that cinematic feeling that seems to endlessly paint pictures in your head? Martyn’s ‘Ghost People’ might be the blockbuster when it comes to that scenario.
Martyn’s signature is all over this record, even more so than on ‘Great Lengths’ from 2009. Being a producer with such eclectic influences and having such a character sound wise, one of the real accomplishments with ‘Ghost People’ is that Martyn has managed to package it all onto two LPs.
Starting off in a futuristic (an ironically present sound), the intro is one of the perfect examples of how Martyn has grown into knowing how to find the perfect grooves and building structures. A mixture of both cinematic scenery as well as tracks closer to the dance floor, ‘Ghost People’ is interesting in that sense, where two different atmospheres meet and creates a personal space.
The highlights is when Martyn freaks out a little bit, such as the intro or the last track, where it seems as if a clear vision has been recorded under a live take—something that probably will boost his live sets that he’s just begun with.
As a second album, Martyn has done a great job to keep it personal and more in a story-telling direction, something that leans more to a one way dialogue from Martyn—in a sense something that has previously been lacking due to experimenting with styles and so on.
Martyn has pushed his sound and 3024 for quite some time now. After getting recognition for his own and unique sound, he also got in contact with a lot of artists in both of the dubstep and techno genres. Zomby, Redshape, Ben Klock and Illum Sphere brings the original tracks into a new level with their wide takes and original ideas.
On the first record of two, Zomby creates a track that feels a little bit as his LP from last year on Ramp, combined with Martyn’s original atmosphere. The track doesn’t really “go” anywhere, but it has a nice groove combined with Zomby’s trademark melodies and beat structures. Redshape on the other hand, who delivers a remix of ‘Seventy Four’ that resembles a lot to Planet E and it’s artists. A mysterious Noir-like atmosphere fills the track with emotion, with a slow rumbling beat and percussion that undertakes a lot of different patterns throughout. The emphasis of the track is how it all develops. A clear signature sound from Redshape accompanied with a new side of his tracks first heard on ‘The Dance Paradox’ album from late ’09. A really suitable remix with remarkable appeal.
Ben Klock takes the voice of The Spaceape from the original – that is about the only thing left from it. Fusing his voice into drum elements combined with bleeping atmospheres and a killer beat, he pushes his own sound into a direction that does not only feel as (in a good way) obvious evolution, but also not losing to much ground with his introductionary ‘One’ album on Ostgut. A subtle progression is always there, kicking around the beat with a persistant contribution to everything else surrounding the track – haunting and mesmerizing, the vocal scatters across every other element, growing a feeling of a dusty old basement combined with the core of the energy in Klock’s sound.
For the other side, Illum Sphere’s ambient and droning space finishes up a remix series that feels very true to Martyn’s aesthetics. The ‘No. 14 Mix’ is very original, grasping a sense of a floating beat structure as well as being true to the beatless arrangement – very impressive and fresh.
Tracklist: 1. The Only Choice 2. krdl-t-grv 3. right?star! 4. Seventy Four 5. Little Things 6. Vancouver 7. These Words feat. dBridge 8. Bridge 9. Elden St. 10. Far Away 11. Hear Me 12. Is This Insanity? feat. Spaceape 13. Brilliant Orange 14. Natural Selection 15. Secret track???
Martyn’s anticipated album is due in two weeks on the 3024 label, which has a well recieved back catalogue that gets even more solid with this CD.
Martyn has a very defining dubstepXtechno sound, which is at taste with many DJs and fans alike. I personally got a bit tired of that perticular sound after a while, but this album really brings it to a different level. Pushing techno and dubstep into each other with a lot of style and original perception of the two, the sound seems to always come together in a pleasant mix of the energy from the broken beats and uncompromizing sound of techno.
The first track let us know that the 3024 label is the only choice – a track that easily could seem redicilous, but the way Martyn pulls it off it becomes a track that marks the attitude and self confidence that the album indeed has.
Continuing over to ‘krdl-t-grv’ and ‘right?star!’, which probably will be the most frequently played tracks of the album, a harder edge of the sound gets introduced. A sound that first came to the Martyn/3024-world with the fantastic ‘Vancouver’ (which is also on the album). Although I’d settle with the harder edge, Martyn displays a wide arrangement of styles over his own past releases which with all right should be represented on his debut album. The fourth track ‘Seventy Four’ is my least favorite track. It’s alright, just a bit boring. With ‘Little Things’, the dub vibe gets all the focus, making it a interesting piece and a special track. ‘Vancouver’ on the next is just as good as it has always been, placed perfectly on the album.
You can clearly hear a sort of Hyperdub-ish R&B influence on the track ‘These Words’, that features the voice of dBridge from the UK. An effort that I find very interesting and the result is very different. It will take a while to settle with it.
The interlude ‘Bridge’, a track that’s based on an organical piano line and no beats – fits perfectly as a bridge to the last tracks of the CD.
‘Elden St’ is a great track that has a faster paced groove to it that the others, as well as a sound that feels more detailed and processed. Great energy!
The same energy is transformed in ‘Far Away’, which sounds like a hommage to jungle than anything else. After a slowly building intro, a heavy and impressive beat structure gets the space it deserves. The other elements do subtle transformations around this structure which keeps the sound interesting and powerful.
A STL-ish vibe gets fuelled by Martyn on ‘Hear Me’, a track that has a house vibe to it but features drums that pushes it into a stepping groove. Fantastic track. ‘Is This Insanity?’ with The Spaceape, it sounds like it’s recorded in the same session as ‘Hear Me’, but with the spacious ape on the microphone. This is a really tripping track which sounds more like a UK production with a aware sense to it.
The second ambient material of the CD is also placed perfectly. Moving out the darkened sense of the tracks between ‘Bridge’ and ‘Brilliant Orange’, it takes things into a calmer sound. Spacious synths and a melancholic wall of sound brings in another dimension of Martyn’s music.
The second installment of the remix series from ‘A Mutual Antipathy’ is here! This time Martyn from the 3024 label and Jamie Vex’d from… eh, “former group” of Vex’d have done the remixes on the slower and calmer tracks from the album.
The original version of ‘The Upside’ sounds a bit like a dubbed out Phil Collins track from the 80′s. Martyn redefines the entire structure of the original and places the elements from it into a post half-stepXtechno hybrid which does not only bring forward the melancholy of the original (hence the ‘Down’ in the track name, eh?), but gives it the space it deserves rather than making the track slower (as Scuba did with his original). The original version has it’s charms in the honest emotions Scuba clearly put into it, making Martyn’s remix great in an entierly different way – which to prefer is actually based on mood of the moment here.
Jamie Vex’d has made an really great effort here – a crazy wobbly drunken dubstepped out broken track, which at first seems a bit stupid. After the second listen you get to know it a bit better and realize that it’s really, really good. In contrast to the original they sound like two completely different tracks, which is good news for me since I had a hard time appreciating the original on the album.