If I gave you thirty seconds to come up with as many sub-genres
of techno music as possible, how would you score? 10? 25? 100?
There’s really no limit to the tiring number of classifications that
constantly dissect electronic music, based on something as simple as
a particular style of synth, tempo or cadence. Some artists love to
fill those pre-determined roles, and it can certainly make for some
intriguing listening, but every now and then a dude like Martyn totally
shakes things up, the finest Holland-to-DC import since Olaf Kolzig
signed to the Washington Capitals (actually, he was German, so Martyn
reigns supreme). His is a music both propulsive and calm, emotional
and steely, danceable and contemplative. His remix of TRG’s “Broken
Heart” is a perfect example of the awesome contradiction his music
implies: cold, smooth dubstep with a soft human touch. His roots may
be in jungle and drum n’ bass, but across a variety of 12″s and remixes
the sound of Martyn has grown more difficult to place but easier to
enjoy. Now, on the verge of dropping his debut full-length album ‘Great
Lengths’ on his 3024 label (in stores April 20th), Martyn is entering new
territory but making himself as comfortable as ever, just like that trip
across the Atlantic.

You’ve recently completed your debut album. Did you approach the
composing/mixing any differently because its an album instead of a

Yes, first of all I set a timeframe to write the album in, and I wrote
a lot of tracks for it of which some didn’t make it onto the final
version. Obviously a 12″ is a much shorter sort of affair, easy to
oversee. Since this is my first album it was quite a daunting task at
times. But I learned a lot from it. I really wanted to try and make
the album sound like a good “story” in terms of how the tracks
progress, so in that sense the composing was different than for a 12″.

What was your timeframe for writing the album?
I made sketches for tracks when time allowed me to, but the real work
was done in about 4 and a half months.

Anything you preferred about making an album that you normally
wouldn’t or couldn’t do on a single?

Oh yes, you have a lot of time to expand in any direction you want to
take the music in. Since I focused purely on the album for a few
months, it was great to be able to sit down in the studio and
experiment a bit more with melodies, vocals, etc, and take my sound a
bit further.

I can’t wait to hear it. Do you think you’ll approach writing a single
differently now, because of your experience making the album?

Well obviously I learned a thing or two from making this album, which
you will hopefully hear back in future 12″s or remixes.

How important is the artwork or packaging that accompanies a record to
you? Do you care about vinyl as an artifact, or simply a medium to
distribute music?

I love vinyl, but I buy a lot of music in whatever format it comes in,
either vinyl, cd or digital. Out of these three vinyl has the most
possibilities when it comes to artwork. When I shop for records
myself, there’s a good few labels I buy not only for the music but
also for the artwork. In these days people haven’t got that much money
to spend every week on records, so in our (3024) case, we really like
to give them a great “product”, two original sounding tracks and a
beautiful sleeve for their money.

What do you think of life in the US? How long have you lived here now?
Any culture shock?

I had been traveling to the US for a few years already so I had a very
gradual sort of culture shock I suppose. I live here permanently now
for about 8 months, and I must say I’m enjoying myself. It’s funny
that the more you get to know the ins and outs of American culture and
way of thought, the further it seems to be away from Dutch culture.
Living in America also changed how I see the country I lived in for so
long (The Netherlands), view the culture and the people from a
distance, and discover things about yourself you would’ve not found
out if you would not have stepped out of the box. It was a very
exciting time to be near Washington DC in the final stages of the
elections, to see how politics work in this country, and the definite
change of vibe and the positivity that the election results have
brought this area and others all over the country.

How did it change your perception of the Netherlands?
I wouldn’t necessary say I love or hate it more now, it’s just that
I’ve learned things about the dutch “psyche”, the way people perceive
things differently because of their surroundings. Just to name an
example, The Netherlands is a very small country with a lot of people,
we have been occupied with finding solutions to problems with space
(living/working/infrastructure) for a long time, resulting in thinking
up systems for everything. In lots of aspects of Dutch life, from how
tax forms are arranged to the way we play football – you can see
this systematic way of thinking. An American has a completely
different perception of space as you can imagine, the way he
would approach a problem would therefor be quite different.

How are your crowds in the US? Did you have any preconceived notions
that were proven or disproven?

Not really, before my first US gig I had played in various European
countries. Europe’s already a patchwork of clubbing cultures so I went
to the US without preconceived notions. I think the crowds differ
hugely, some cities have vibrant scenes (like San Francisco, LA, New
York and others) and in other cities the actual amount of people
following this music is small and still in a building up phase.

Do you think the US will ever approach Europe in terms of popularity
and appreciation of electronic dance music?

I think electronic music will never be as embedded in the culture as
it is in Europe, however, I think the US has a very big group of people
who would potentially be open to new music and get excited about
new music – when approached at the right moment in time and
through the right channels. So I think the US will become a lot more
pivotal for dance music in the near future.

Can you name me one modern single that you think has been criminally
underlooked, from any other artist?

Wow that’s an impossible question! There’s so much music around that
could do with a bit more attention, but let me name Mike Slott who is
a real talented artist on a very melodic sort of instrumental hip hop
vibe. Make sure to check him out.