Martyn – Masks/Viper (Brainfeeder)

Although ‘IDM’ was a much-maligned term, it was – is – a widely appreciated, if still largely underground, genre of electronica. Its impact is substantial, too – in the uber-minimal approach of James Blake, or the masked moniker of SBTRKT, to the electronic wierdness of middle-career Radiohead; the gloomy, dark and experimental attitude from 90s computer-music can be traced to the godfathers of the movement, Aphex Twin, Autechre, and even before them, right back to Kraftwerk.

Where Blake et al. have found their sound, their niche, and are taking it mainstream, Martyn takes on another trait from the experimental electronica pioneers – that is: never to decide upon, or really actually know, what your ‘sound’ is, will or should be. On 2009s debut Great Lengths, he was among many of the up-and-coming experimental bass artists on the scene, but new single Masks, and the B-side Viper, both taken from upcoming album Ghost People, move the sound to far more expansive terrain.

Masks drops a four-to-the-floor, quasi-techno beat, accompanied by a willingly dub bassline, while dark, jittery textures fill out the remaining space. Viper is more progressive still – essentially beatless, driven by interacting synth lines and a techy, mechanised bassline like those heavy ones Distance loves to drop. A real experience in progressive, experimental, techy dub. Ghost People should be good.

Release: 1st August [Digital] (Out now) / 19th September [Physical]

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