Martyn – Great Lengths (3024) [3024005CD]
Hooray for the much-anticipated debut full-length from one of my favorite producers! Martyn found his own artistic voice, hit his stride and launched his own label before writing an album, so he’s made it look easy. On “Great Lengths” he puts his own melodic and emotive spin on dubstep, house and even ambient bridge tracks, all with strong techno and garage influences. The album is highly listenable: catchy, hooky, deep, and innovative yet familiar right out of the box. It’s hard to pick favorites but I’m especially drawn to Elden St, Seventy Four, Little Things and the undeniably upbeat lead tunes, Right?Star! and Krdl-To-Grv. If you’re a vinyl collector there’s a good chance Vancouver & Natural Selection are already in your crate on 12″ (3024 002) but they deserve the reprise. Martyn has also achieved a rare feat in my mind by making a song with Spaceape that doesn’t bug the crap out of me, perhaps by employing a couple filters to spice up his monotone. I wasn’t sure about the other collaboration, a slow-building dubstep vocal workout featuring dBridge, but it really grew on me. Then the other clog dropped and I realized (I think) that dBridge sang the vocals, which makes it especially impressive as he’s known more as a producer than a vocalist, but quite believable when you remember his brother is Steve Spacek. Packaged in a very nice three-fold digipak with more of the label’s psychadelic cartoons and design by Erosie.