The entrance of Martyn on Brainfeeder territory can be described with several adjectives: strange, unexpected, unique. It is never incomprehensible or inconsistent, as long as you're not so narrow-minded to think that on FlyLo's label there's only room for warped hip-hop, full of the effects and cosmic aspirations it has released so far. If jazz pianists such as Austin Peralta and former hardcore band bass players come jazz musicians like Thundercat can have a place there, it should really come as no surprise that the label should open its doors to techno reformers like Dutchman Martyn, and less so with the material included on this 12”, a tasty appetiser for ‘Ghost People’, his second album, to be released in October.
‘Masks’ doesn't hide its cards: it's a techno and house hybrid with a classic base (the synthetic jabs, the beefy kick drum, the atmospheric pads creating a double feeling of amplitude and storm) which could easily fit in the Planet E catalogue, right next to the releases by Martin Buttrich. Like much of the music coming from the Brainfeeder environment, it uses an abundance of effects and has an at times an amorphous construction. ‘Viper’, the second track, has a similar vision, but with a somewhat more broken beat (more electro-like, without being that) and a very dominant role for space. The beat never enters, merely threatening with an outburst in a tangle of synthetic sparks, but it does appear on the second version, the ‘London Arches Edit’, which sounds like a tribute to mid-nineties intelligent techno from labels like Internal, R&S and purple-sleeve-era Warp. Conclusion: Martyn comes with the intention of making history. I'm nervous.