Martyn’s new EP, Hello Darkness, will remind you of why you liked dubstep before the brostep invasion. It is deep, intelligent, thoughtful, extremely well produced, and takes you through a full range of emotions rather than just smashing on the backside of your brain.
From the very first few notes of the title track, you can breath easy, and whatever stress is in your day will filter out in the spaces between the stuttered drum beats and nicely balanced sub-tones.
The EP consists of four tracks – three full ones and then a radio edit of “Hello Darkness.” This format makes commercial sense, as some people don’t have a full six-minute attention span, and the radio edit serves as an introduction to the essence of the music to that particular group. You can also appreciate that tracks two and three are remixes. EP’s occasionally get bogged down when there’s an original and three remixes all packaged together.
“Bauplan (L-Vis 1900 & Bok Bok remix)” is a beautiful expression of texture and tone, and it’ll float you away with sound effects, subtle vocal stabs, finger snaps and bird chirps, tin cans getting kicked down alleyways, and they some melody to boot. It gets darker as it goes along, and some classic drum machine breaks kick in a carry you the rest of the way through. Don’t be afraid to turn it up.
“We Are You In the Future (Redshape remix)” has a little more of the Detroit feel, and is introduced by a bite from a movie to get your mind thinking about death and sickness, and then heading into a four-on the floor click beat and some chill analog synths to keep the mood grimy. This one is a full nine-minute journey, but it never gets boring, and none of the layers ever sound canned or out of place within the context of the track. The slightly detuned flavor of almost every melodic instrument that shows itself gives the tune a forever-tense flavor, but the sounds themselves never get too dirty to make you want to run too far away.
For those unfamiliar with Martyn, his two full-length albums, Great Lengths and Ghost People, are absolute staples in the dubstep community, and the EP’s that he has been releasing since 2005 have been some of the best in the business. He’s on tour constantly and alternates between DJ-type sets and more organic live shows, and they are not to be missed if you have a chance to catch him out anywhere. Some of his tunes are a little hard to wrap your brain around if you aren’t ready for them, but the more you listen to his music, the more you’ll dig it and the more you’ll allow yourself to be transported into a very unique world of soundscapes and tonal drifts. He has three DJ mix albums/compilations out as well, and each of them has a character all its own, and is well worth listening to and studying.