Martyn releases new album ‘Voids’, his first for Ostgut Ton
‘Voids’ is in a few ways markedly different than previous Martyn records; it features no guest appearances or collaborations and at 9 tracks, is musically stripped down to the essentials. It’s also a highly personal take on forging new paths forward in genres where the Berghain/Panorama Bar resident has long been known for his production wizardry and innovation: post-dubstep and UK garage.
The LP is roughly split between these musical foundations, recontextualized with elements of Nyabinghi, drum ‘n‘ bass, and gqom to form snarling, bass-driven hybrids. The direction was hinted at last November on his ‘GL Outtakes’ – reworks of his landmark 2009 album ‘Great Lengths’. In contrast however, ‘Voids’ is also an attempt to work through personal trauma and loss, including recovering from a heart attack and dealing with the passing of close friend and fellow producer Marcus Intalex aka Trevino, to whom the track “Manchester” is dedicated.
The sound of ‘Voids’ is big and unapologetically rough around the edges. It is music as therapy, drawing on the healing elements of music past, but is far from retrospective. Indeed, Martyn is no stranger to electronic futurism, as his numerous solo productions for Ostgut Ton, Dolly, Hyperdub, Brainfeeder, Ninja Tune, Warp and his own 3024 label (run together with visual collaborator Jeroen Erosie) have shown. On ‘Voids’, however, these futuristic sonic qualities coalesce into something darker, more biographical and untethered from expectations.