Monday, September 20, 2010

Martyn interview

Anyone who knows me, knows my love for Dutch producer Martyn. Suburbia - his sublime, housey, dubstep tune released on Applepips in 2008 was the tune that convinced me that I actually liked dubstep. But before that I was already a fan of his drum and bass releases on Play:Musik and Revolve:r, which were forward thinking and innovative in a time when I felt drum and bass was very stagnant. Martyn was nice enough to take some time out to answer some questions for Allsorts in the lead up to his much anticipated first Melbourne show this Friday night at Roxanne Parlour. Thanks to CDR and Redbull, Martyn will also be speaking at a producers conference, also at Roxanne Parlour on Thursday night.

Q. Can we start by saying that we thought Great Lengths was a brilliant first album from you, are there any plans in the works for a new one?
A. Oh yes I've been working on the follow up record! Actually, just after the release of "Great Lengths" I was already planning to start on no. 2, just because I really enjoyed working on such a big project. For some reason though, I couldn't find the time to start on it, until a few months ago. I am trying to get the music finished at the end of this year, so it can come out in Spring of 2011.

Q. Since the album you have produced a wide range of singles, which feel quite unique and different to the album. Do you see yourself as changing directions or just becoming more diverse?
A. I think its more about changing directions. Every producer continues to be influenced by newly discovered music, whether it's something hot off the press or something old, obscure and overlooked. Even though I gave it my all on my first album, I think there are a lot more directions to be explored.

Q. We were also fans of your drum and bass production, do you have any plans to make any more faster tempo music in the future?
A. I never really plan such things to be honest, if I have a good idea for a 170+ bpm track then I certainly won't hesitate to make it ; if not, then not :)

Q. You’ve been DJing and producing for a long time now, what was the music that got you interested in electronic/bass music?
A. Well my introduction to electronic music was much earlier than my initial exposure to what you would now call "bass music". As soon as I started going to clubs I was interested in house and techno mainly (and some crossover electronic things at that time like Front 242 or Meat Beat Manifesto).. Around 1995 I heard my first Photek records and tracks off the Metalheadz label and thats when I started getting interested in things such as sound systems and bass music.

Q. Your Fabric mix contained tunes from artists spanning a number of genres,such as techno, dubstep, funky and glitch, we’re personally loving the blurring of lines between genres at the moment, how has it personally influenced you?
A. Well initially I felt very stuck in the ways and unwritten rules of drum 'n bass, I think that's why I wanted to make other music, make music that crosses genres and therefore reaches a lot of different people. I suppose I now took it to another extreme, namely that people have a hard time knowing what to expect from me next.

Q. The last release on 3024 was Illum Sphere, who we have personally only heard of recently and incidentally is playing at your Melbourne show as well, how did you come across him and his music?
A. I've known him for a while, as he's involved in the Hoya Hoya nights in Manchester (with his friend Jonny Dub). He sent me music and I really like his approach to beats oriented music but with a techno edge (maybe cos he's from Manchester?) .. We met again at the Red Bull Music Academy in London earlier this year where he was a participant. I think the RBMA gave him a good boost and now he's working very hard on his live sets, combining it with visuals etc, all very cool stuff.

Q. Which other producers are currently inspiring/exciting you?
A. Flying Lotus, Kode9, Caribou, Washed Out, Night Slugs, all @ Berghain/Ostgut Ton.

Q. As people who also work in the design world, we love the artwork of the 3024 sleeves and I remember hearing you talk about your personal appreciation of the link between music and art, can you tell us a bit more about that?
A. Well myself and Erosie have been longtime friends, and the way I like to work (trying to incorporate different sounds and genres in my music) is quite similar to his. It's safe to say that being this long in this music thing, I've studied the roots of it and now I'm trying to expand on those, and what he's doing with his graphics is quite similar. If you look at his work you can clearly see that he knows what he's doing, that he's aware of the roots and origins, and that he tries to do something new everytime.

Q. You moved from Holland to the US, what are the differences in the scenes/cities and do you feel closer or farther removed being in the states now?
A. "The Scene" it's a tricky thing to discuss really. I was never really involved in a scene in the way that I would hang out with a group of dj's producers every day etc etc, that's just not me. Also location wise, there are people who live in the world's hotspots of electronic music yet never leave the house, and others who live far removed from it but are actually quite a big part of a scene even if it is only on an online basis.

Q. Are you playing a lot of shows in the states now?
A. I wouldn't say a lot, it can always be busier, but I have tried hard to put some effort in playing in the States. I live there now, I don't want to just use it as a home base but if I can 'spread my gospel' somewhere I will certainly do it. There are a couple of cities that I've returned to a few times and people are starting to know my name there now which is great.

Q. And finally what can Melbourne audiences expect from you when you visit for the first time this month?
A. I hope they will have fun!! I also think they'll be surprised a little bit, but if they know my music and appreciate the diversity then I hope they'll also appreciate the diversity in my DJ Sets. But above all I hope they will enjoy themselves.

Martyn on Myspace

and 3024