It has been a successful career thus far, yet it is only now that Martjin Deykers, a.k.a. Martyn, is finally feeing that he’s hit home. “Maybe I just needed to find myself back again,” he admits. “I just felt that I’d lost it a little bit or something. That’s why I’m really happy with this album just because it feels better than my first one and better than my second one, at least for me. So now I just have to hope that it comes across.”
Though it may be recent that Martyn is finding real satisfaction in the evolution of his sound, his first two albums are nothing short of meticulously well-crafted masterpieces. In 2008, during the height of dubstep, Martyn appeared on the scene with “Broken”, a bass-heavy tune that took South London by surprise. With the release of Great Lengths in 2009, Martyn had fully moved beyond the drum and bass roots of his native Holland and effectively solidified his position as a respectable dubstep producer worthy of recognition.
Two years later, Martyn proved again that he could master any genre that he set his sights on. By 2011, the Dutch producer released his second album, Ghost People, via Flying Lotus’ LA based record label, Brainfeeder. Ghost People displayed his clear understanding of tech-house’s high-pitched synths balanced by a bassy pulsating drive geared to move bodies on the dancefloor into a house-hopping frenzy.
Yet, despite continuously wowing the EDM world with his astronomically high taste level both in his production and his DJ sets, Martyn concerns himself little with fitting into any one particular genre.
“I never really felt that I jumped on dubstep or whatever because it was basically more like dubstep jumped on me,” he states, reflecting upon his journey. “But I think it’s better that way. I think that if you’re a musician that tries to do forward-thinking music, it’s better that you make the music and someone else comes up with the genre. If you’re running around, you’re always late.” Words of wisdom coming from a man who has not only managed to effortlessly hop from one genre to the next, but who has produced timeless tracks within each respective field he’s entered.
This month, Martyn releases his brand new LP, The Air Between Words, and EP, Forgiveness, via Ninja Tune. On Forgiveness is “Glassbeadgames,” an eight-minute-long anthem he co-produced with Four Tet; an impeccable blend of each artist’s style, giving us a taste of what the album has in store.
“I was working on the album and I had a few sort of sketches that I was a bit stuck with,” explains Martyn. “One of them, basically, I thought well, it might be a good idea to collaborate with someone else on it. It seemed that his style would fit really well on that idea. So I just suggested it and laid him the sketch, he was into it and so that’s how we started working on it.”
Opening with a hypnotic kalimba sample, the track slowly unfolds introducing a rhythmic shuffle to set the pace, followed by layer upon layer of both Martyn’s techy four-to-floor grooves and Four Tet’s atmospheric melodies.
“It’s nice to collaborate just because he’s got some similarities with me but he also has a very different background than me,” he adds. “And usually if you open yourself up a little bit for that sort of thing it’s really interesting what other people make of your stuff and the other way around.”
With an already fruitful career under his belt and a wealth of knowledge regarding electronic music from Europe to North America, what can Martyn tell us about the direction of his work and EDM scenes?
“It’s hard to say because like I said before, I prefer not to think too much in styles and genres. I can really only say where I think I’m going, not so much where other people are going or where a whole scene is going. But as far as for myself, I think that the album that I just did, I think that’s it’s a really good direction for me and it makes me happy (to be) making music.” And if he’s happy, then we’re happy too.
Martyn’s Forgiveness EP drops via Ninja Tune on June 3rd.
By Hollie McGowan
Photo: MelD Cole, VillageSlum.com