Martyn – ‘Masks / Viper’ (Brainfeeder)

Bass can be a waiting game – but that’s the state legions of switched on, electronic lovers have been since Brainfeeder honcho, stoner and production whiz kid Flying Lotus let a little secret out earlier in the year. News that Martyn, 3024 label boss, was to release his second album on the imprint was hype enough to send certain crevices of the internet into spasms of ecstatic meltdown.

It’s unsurprising that followers of 21st century electronics got themselves into such a lather – the 3024 chief is one of the most well heeled men in modern dance. This Dutch gent’s name was initially thrown into the playpit of ‘intelligent drum & bass’ and dubstep, but his Fabric mix, which saw Hudson Mohawke getting all touchy feely with Berghain posterboy Ben Klock, showed he was a dab hand at twisting his arm to a lengthy gauntlet of styles.

His debut album, followed by a series of thoughtfully detonated releases (check the percussive whack of ‘Miniluv’ on the Panorama bar affiliated Ostgut Ton outlet) were proof enough that he’s something of a musical butcher. He’s able to take his production skills to any hunk of sonic meat, then chop, dice and piece sounds together as only he sees fit, and it’s the thick, lean muscles of his latest excursions into pounding 4/4 which binds his current output together.

‘Masks’ is the first slice of dance to be sent out on a parade and is a steam roller, albeit one which titillates rather than bludgeons into submission. Electronic pistons propel it past enough sheer drops to make one giddy, while plates of sirens and trills are broken over a spiraling b-line. It’s frenzied, yet on a muzzle with enough pressure to set your teeth on edge. ‘Vipers (The London Arches Remix)’ is a homage to the south London rave cave – plated up with an industrial strength shell, it thrusts, grinds, points and raves in a cloud of heavy panting. It’s another banger for late on when your eyes are doing back flips somewhere around the back of your head.

‘Masks…’ may suggest Martyn has something to hide. Or at least not wish to give away his true identity. But if his marriage with Brainfeeder leads him to continuing spraying out aural juice of this calibre, then he’s not going to have anywhere left to hide.

Jim Ottewill

‘Masks / Viper’ is available for download now via Brainfeeder, and will be released on vinyl on September 5.