On Ninja Tune

Three years after his last album – Ghost PeopleMartyn joins the Ninja Tune family to present his third long player. Universally respected for his ever-evolving, but inimitable sound, the Dutch-born, Washington DC-based producer brings an entirely new sonic direction with The Air Between Words. This is an exploration of the essence of all of Martyn’s music: a rugged four-to-the-floor groove, intelligently sculpted and artfully composed.

Where Great Lengths - his 2009 debut - was a body of work that explored Martyn’s uncategorizable versatility, and 2011’s Ghost People (via Brainfeeder) was a focused effort on writing an album with a specific sound, The Air Between Words came from a different realm altogether. Martyn had no parameters, and in fact no plan at all. He fell into a back-to-basics mentality where simple experimentation with purely analogue sounds and equipment inadvertently turned to melodic sketches, and without warning the album revealed itself.

“Every album signifies a period in your life, and finishing one shows you something about yourself,” says Martyn about the experience. “Without the music being introspective, this is my most natural sounding album.”

The Air Between Words opens coyly with the panoramic sonics of "Forgiveness Step 1" - a beatless but nonetheless authoritative statement of intent - before pitching headlong into pure dancefloor territory. Lean, raw, powerful productions predominate - gloriously brash, occasionally beautiful, but always vigorously hypnotic, sensitively swung and utterly irresistible.

Martyn joins forces with Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet for "Glassbeadgames", a powerhouse of a track that finds the perfect amalgamation of both producers’ fortés. Heavy kicks, UKG-esque percussion and swirling subs dictate the groove, whilst the melodic progressions are simultaneously melancholic and anthemic, and further enhanced by a Hebden trademark thumb piano motif.

Another collaboration - "Love of Pleasure" - finds Martyn partnering with his good friend copeland (formerly known as Inga Copeland, or one half of art pop duo Hype Williams). Her fragile vocal cuts through distorted piano riffs and swathes of broken synths, a fitting centerpiece for the album before it returns to its essence via "Forgiveness Step 2", "Like That" and "Two Leads and a Computer", which distinctly draw from a 90s Warp heritage (Sweet Exorcist, LFO and Autechre) but bizarrely sound like they’ve been beamed from the future. After the Afro-tinged elegance of "Lullaby", the final piece word belongs to "Fashion Skater": a dark, earthy, almost Zen-like exercise in house music in its purest form.

Stylistically and sonically, Martyn stands apart from his counterparts. His music incorporates vintage references but is steadfastly forward-facing at the same time. He’s always done that. His sound is heritage and future - and that character has elevated him alongside fellow electronic heavyweights such as Four Tet, Kode9, dBridge and Mark Pritchard.

Martyn Headlines

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Martyn: i-DJ Mix

Martyn steps up for the latest i-DJ mix for i-D Magazine, celebrating his new full-length album. Listen on SoundCloud.

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Martyn - New Album 'The Air Between Words' Out Now

Martyn releases his new full-length, The Air Between Words is out today, featuring collaborations with Kieran Hebden aka Four Tet - order on 3LP, CD and digitally (MP3/WAV) from the Ninjashop, iTunes and Amazon.

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Martyn & Machinedrum: Maida Vale Sessions

Watch Martyn and Machinedrum performing tracks live from Maida Vale studios for BBC Radio 1's Residency, below the jump.

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World Exclusive: New Martyn Album Stream via Thump

We teased a few tracks from the album but now you can hear Martyn's first long-player since 2011, The Air Between Words, in full via Thump, featuring collaborations with Four Tet & former Hype Williams member, copeland.

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  • "@ciaotiga @themartinezbros lol! that other summer earlier this year was def not as good as this summer!"

    Fri Jul 11 13:30:16 2014
  • "lol RT @JoeMande: You were in Stuart Little 2. RT @RealJamesWoods: Obama is the disaster from whom all disasters follow."

    Fri Jul 11 12:53:31 2014
  • "@MrFrenchFries so funky!"

    Fri Jul 11 12:44:43 2014
  • "@ctmilloy did you actually just write its worth $500 for a motorist to hit a cyclist and perhaps kill him/her because he was "annoying"???"

    Thu Jul 10 14:53:40 2014
  • "@ciaotiga Bugatti! hahaha hilarious"

    Thu Jul 10 13:21:31 2014

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