Martyn’s collaboration with Four Tet is now streaming at Soundcloud. More info about his upcoming Ninja Tune album appears below the cut.
With the release of his latest album, The Air Between Words, set for release on June 17th, Martyn has made his collaboration with Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet available for stream. The song, “Glassbeadgames,” is a powerhouse of a track that is the perfect amalgamation of both producers’ fortés. Heavy kicks, UKG-esque percussion and swirling subs dictate the groove, while the melodic progressions are simultaneously melancholic and anthemic, and further enhanced by a Hebden trademark thumb piano motif. Listen to the track here.
“Glassbeadgames” is the first track is the first track to be released from The Air Between Words, Martyn’s upcoming LP for Ninja Tune. An extended, “8 Hours at Fabric Dub” version of “Glassbeadgames” will also appear on a separate Forgiveness EP, set for release on June 3rd on Ninja Tune. The EP will also feature two brand new tracks from Martyn, only available on the EP.
Where Great Lengths — his 2009 debut — was a body of work that explored Martyn’s uncategorizable versatility, and 2011’s Ghost People (via Brainfeeder) was a focused effort on writing an album with a specific sound, The Air Between Words came from a different realm altogether. Martyn had no parameters, and in fact no plan at all. He fell into a back-to-basics mentality where simple experimentation with purely analogue sounds and equipment inadvertently turned to melodic sketches, and without warning the album revealed itself.
“Every album signifies a period in your life, and finishing one shows you something about yourself,” says Martyn about the experience. “Without the music being introspective, this is my most natural sounding album.”
The Air Between Words opens coyly with the panoramic sonics of “Forgiveness Step 1,” a beatless but nonetheless authoritative statement of intent, before pitching headlong into pure dancefloor territory. Lean, raw, powerful productions predominate – gloriously brash, occasionally beautiful, but always vigorously hypnotic, sensitively swung and utterly irresistible.
Another collaboration, “Love of Pleasure,” finds Martyn partnering with his good friend copeland(formerly known as Inga Copeland, or one half of art pop duo Hype Williams). Her fragile vocal cuts through distorted piano riffs and swathes of broken synths, a fitting centerpiece for the album before it returns to its essence via “Forgiveness Step 2,” “Like That” and “Two Leads and a Computer,” which distinctly draw from a 90s Warp heritage (Sweet Exorcist, LFO and Autechre) but bizarrely sound like they’ve been beamed from the future. After the Afro-tinged elegance of “Lullaby,” the final piece word belongs to “Fashion Skater,” a dark, earthy, almost Zen-like exercise in house music in its purest form.
The Forgiveness EP picks up where The Space Between Words leaves off, opening with an extended version of his collaboration with Four Tet, “Glassbeadgames.” The track is followed up by “Secrets,” a subtle track that effortlessly builds around one intricate loop. The EP is capped off by “Forgiveness Step 3,” the final in Martyn’s trilogy of tracks.
Stylistically and sonically, Martyn stands apart from his counterparts. His music incorporates vintage references but is steadfastly forward-facing at the same time. He’s always done that. His sound is heritage and future simultaneously.
Martyn – The Air Between Words
(Ninja Tune – June 17th)
1. Forgiveness Step 1
2. Glassbeadgames (with Four Tet)
3. Empty Mind
5. Love of Pleasure (with copeland)
6. Two Leads and a Computer
7. Forgiveness Step 2
8. Like That
10. Fashion Skater
Martyn – The Forgiveness EP
(Ninja Tune – June 3rd)
1. Glassbeadgames – 8 Hours at Fabric Dub (with Four Tet)
3. Forgiveness Step 3