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White Noise: Martyn – Newspeak EP

Friday, 22 March 2013

Martyn – Newspeak EP

Label: Dolly

Martyn, it’s been too long. The Dutch producer wowed us in 2011 with his excellent Ghost People LP, but his list of accomplishments stretches back much further, including a series of dubstep-defying singles that defined the early output of storied imprints such as Hessle and Applepips, another stellar album, one of the best Fabric mixes to date, without even mentioning his excellent job as labelhead of the on-trend 3024 imprint. Phew. But since that second album, we’ve had next to nothing, just a single original track on Brainfeeder to tide us over. Not even a phone call.


Well, never fear, because the big man is back in 2013 with a fantastic new EP on Steffi’s Dolly imprint, which features some of the Dutchman’s best material to date. Better still, he’s taken this opportunity to offer three very different tracks that meld the myriad influences that he’s had time to take in over the years, from his early dubstep experimentalism to the recent move to housier territories that border on techno. The entire A-side is occupied by the glistening Oceania, a straight-up reference back to his early output. It’s an exquisitely detailed miasma of shimmering chords, deep sub-bass frequencies and expertly-applied breakbeats, taking the listener on a blissed-out journey whose scifi trappings signal an end only too soon.

On the B-side Martyn comes in ruder style with low-slung title track Newspeak, where Detroit synths bubble over a bed of crisp claps, acid licks and searing strings. It’s breathless stuff, each sound treated to shine out of the unstoppable groove. Nor is the listener let down with George Orwell-referencing closer What Is Room 101, where Martyn serves up a deeper, slower groove with superb synthwork that caresses and soars over the jacking rhythm. He may have been gone for too long, but when a producer comes back with an EP where every single tune is a highlight in its own right, the only appropriate response is to get up and dance.


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