Masks / Viper
3. Viper (London Arches Edit)
“People just like a certain sound and then they want more of that. But then when you give them more, they suddenly think you’re boring or one-dimensional. The best way to handle it is to not really listen to people, and just dictate what you want to do. Everyone has their angle, and puts on their mask forward. People use a shell to show who they want to be.” – Martyn
Martyn has a startling ability to keep the media world standing on its toes. Just when he was pegged a bass artist, he knocked heads flat with a flutter of four-on-the-floor releases for the likes of Aus Music, Ostgut Ton and All City. Likewise, every chance to see Martyn DJ brings a new dimension of surprise: all rules and preconceptions are left equally as shattered.
The decidedly independent artist has always done things his way and his way only, even choosing to release his debut album – Great Lengths – on his own label (3024) in 2009. But instead of staying in the expected zip code for his next body of work, he opted to tread a different avenue: he took Flying Lotus up on the offer to join his family. Martyn’s sophomore album, Ghost People, will be released on Brainfeeder this fall.
Masks / Viper is the first single from Ghost People, a taste into what’s to come with Martyn’s new – and, naturally, unexpected – sonic direction. The A-side, “Masks”, builds a spacey, sci-fi terrain, with a sharp 4/4 groove and metallic, hypnotic chromatics. Melodies sit on top of each other, winding upwards to become the ultimate soundtrack for walking through the hallway between Berghain and Panoramabar, exploring from one room to the other.
Dark and fringed with a rough edge, “Viper”, as Martyn puts it, is “a beatless exercise in the sound that made Metalheadz.” “Viper (London Arches Edit)” brings the feel of a gloomy dark tunnel: imagine cycling past the doors of Cable in London Bridge on a shadowy Monday night.