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Martyn: Masks/Viper

The thought of pairing a veteran Dutch raver with a label mostly known for its offbeat hip-hop may seem an odd combination to some, but for Martyn AKA Martijn Deijkers, this displacement comes with the sonic territory.

The flying Dutchman’s flirtatious relationship with Flying Lotus’ Brainfeeder continues to grow, with this, the first single from his forthcoming sophomore LP, ‘Ghost People’. It’s not just about mutual admiration anymore – the two are now locked in on paper and on wax.

Continually lauded for his vivid explorations of broken beat and techno, Martyn’s rambunctious 4 x 4 riddims and full-blown melodies are yet to lose their steam. ‘Masks’/’Viper’ lays down the schematics for what we can expect from his second album – an all-in-one bevvy of shuffled house, anxious techno and lean-back summer vibes.

‘Masks’ continues from where the brilliant ‘All Nights’ left off, cruising through busted stabs, swinging rides, and that righteously trademark stomp of his. Martyn’s legendary dynamics take this one up and down – retaining that Martyn sunrise glow we all know so well, throughout. Swirling appreggios provide a heavy rave impetus, and take this rooftop jam into the clouds.

‘Viper’ (Ghost People Edit) is a heavy reprise, doing away with a beat – instead it’s built around nasty bass stabs not lost on Optical or J Majik. Orange arppegiators loop over this blood red bassline to maximum effect, finding the middle ground between jarring nausea and colourful euphoria. It’s a ballsy risk that’s paid off, and an experiment that only man like Martyn could conjure up.

The next cut, Viper (London Arches Edit) takes this smashing bassline and pumps it like none other, coupling octaves of hiccuping vocal nicks with a leg breaking skank. This will excel in superclubs and small, dark rooms alike.

Martyn is clearly inspired by his far-reaching travels, and the urban curiosities they lead him to – both on the dancefloor and on the street. The second edit is apparently akin to the haze of London Bridge, whilst ‘Masks’ takes cues from the industrial clubbing of Berlin and the ferocity of UK hardsteppers.

‘Vipers’/’Masks’ sets the hypercolour agenda for what will be an undoubtedly excellent second album. With ‘Ghost People’ expected in the coming months, watch the giddy excitement build.