Paradigm Shifts over to Martinez.

Words by: Smac
Posted: 14/6/10 11:27

Paradigm Shifts over to MartinezIt's hardly been a meteoric rise to fame for Martinez. Since his first release in 2001, the natural born Swede has moved easily between labels such as Dessous or Soma, via his own 2 labels, Out of Orbit and Re:Connected picking up remixes along the way from the likes of Nathan Fake, or Rui Da Silva, but always bubbling below the surface, a name on a record sleeve rather than one headlining the main poster. The last couple of years however, as he settles deep into the Moon Harbour collective, Martinez has become one of the vanguard of the new wave of house. Along with Matthias Tanzmann and Luna City Express, Martin (his real name) has become a symbol of all that is shiny and new about this thing called house. And this week as his latest album lands on Moon Harbour, Paradigm Shift, the mission statement couldn't be clearer.

He explains, "My relationship with Moon Harbour started actually a while ago. I knew Matthias because he came often to play at my friends club in Copenhagen and of course I was a big fan of the label and played already lots of their release since back then. So, I stayed in touch with Matthias and also Andre Quaas, who was super nice and help me to hook up with Intergroove distribution and Rand Muzik pressing plant when I started my own label Out of Orbit Recordings back in 2003. Eventually I met them quite often at Sonar and other parties. So when two years ago I had some tunes that I felt could work for Moon Harbour it was a natural thing to send the track to Matthias. I didn't expect much, but he actually called me up during Sonar in 2008 and was really into the track and it became the first 12". After this we continued with another 12" and since we share the same musical taste and we work well together it was the perfect home for my album.

Paradigm Shift means a change of fundamental events, or it's meant to be. The name is quite suiting, because I really feel there's been a transition in my music in the last three years and this is the album that shows that transition and change. I mean it's a quite pretentious way of expressing change, to call it a paradigm shift, but I liked the name somehow"

Pretentious is one thing Martin surely isn't and neither is the album. Thoughtful, lively, fun yet still quite clever, the sound is distinctively his, and resonates with a deep warmth across all the various styles it encapsulates. We met up last week in the incredibly down-to-earth Plaza del Parque just before his first Space gig of the summer to chat about the album, Ibiza and life in general. The paradigm shift itself was really from techno to house.
I was really more techno-based before and now the music is going back to house...

"This was the idea really, to let it (Paradigm Shift) be a real artist album and express a different side of me as an artist, there's some down-tempo stuff, there's some break-beat stuff, something housey, deep, dub, it's really me. It's not supposed to be some kind of concept album, or a certain kind of thing, it's just me. Me as an artist in the studio for one and half years and this is the result.

The paradigm shift itself was really from techno to house. I was really more techno-based before and now the music is going back to house. I actually come from house music, but I've taken it back to a house that is now inspired by the techno that has gone before, and that's the difference. More organic, more free, just letting the music be what it is, and not thinking too much about it. That's the difference too.

The whole album represents the range of my DJ set as well, from the deep sound to the harder stuff, but if there's one, there's a track called Kamino and another called Damaged Color, which are the tracks I play the most when I'm out."

It's true that those aforementioned tracks are packed full of the sort of upbeat four-four groove that drives a Martinez DJ set along in it's full frantic entirety dragging the crowd along with it. Anyone who has saw him play at Space on Wednesday or Zoo Project or Underground last year on the island can testify to that.  But the album has so much more, and it's those slightly different, deeper gems that really surprise and inhabit your head after 1 or 2 listenings.

'Mr Decocco' is based around a snatch of barely comprehensible vocal, the words of which are held tantalisingly out of audible reach, which followers will recognise as a trick from the artists 2008 Momomowha EP. 'Marisias' is a infectious piece of pared back house, with genius beat timings that cannot fail to grab the listener. And 'Lavender Mist' is about as Portishead as you'll likely to get from a producer on this side of the millenium. Beautiful dub, that really demonstrates just how wide Martinez's range and knowledge of music can reach.

"My studio set up is quite simple. I don't have tons of hardware, but I use my Roland SH-101 a lot for baselines, its has such an amazing deep sub bass. I also use a JV2080 Roland and CSX1 Yamaha. Most of my sequencing is done with Cubase (it's an old version not sure which one.. haha). I've used Cubase since I was 12 years old, I know it perfectly and feel very comfortable with it."

Paradigm ShiftWell it certainly shows, over all this is a confident and light album, in mood rather than importance that is, with an ethereal feel, as opposed to anything dark, hard or techno. Upbeat, summery and positive, hitting the nail on the head as far as the scene goes right now, not just in Ibiza but right across Europe. As far as Martinez goes, this is his year for playing Ibiza. In fact he insists it's one of his favourite places to play in the world.

"It's wonderful, it's always great and the vibe is amazing. I played for the first time 5 years ago in Space on a Friday morning, for What's Up? With Nima (Gorji), he invited me, and that was the first time I played for them, and and how I got introduced to the island. Before that I really thought it was just commercial parties and not my thing, but I've been coming here since then. And this year is the first year I have proper gigs, with Pacha for Cadenza, and Kehakuma at Space, and it's really exciting to be in that position now, and seeing how it's growing. I really love the energy of this place, all the best people from all over the world comes together in this one little island for this certain period and it just kicks off. It's really cool."

Certainly, from his love of the island he's in the long haul, Wednesday's Space gig was preceded by a few days partying at DC10, hanging out with Nima at Fuse at Ushuaia and dinner in town with friends before heading to the club.

And in case you were thinking that someone from Sweden might not appreciate the beach, it turns out that Ibiza is just like home for Martinez, "We had a really nice beach location in Sweden where I grew up near to the sea, and I wouldn't call it promoting in the sense that we know promoters now, but with some friends we just scrambled together some money to rent a sound system, invited our friends and we just played on the beach ourselves. And we had a basket for donations on the beach, and we always broke even, there was always a little extra if we were lucky, and we used to do that all summer. It was cool. It's quite nice to be able to experience a beach party like Ushuaia here, (in Ibiza) on that level, coming from doing something similar yourself where you were a kid."

And we wholeheartedly agree with that.

Listen Martinez Podcast Here

Tour Dates:

17 June - Moon Harbour @ Discoteca Barcelona (ES)    
18 June - Wet Yourself Boat Party Barcelona (ES)    
25 June - Ego Hamburg (DE)   
26 June - Distillery Leipzig (DE)    
29 June - Fuse @ Ushuaia Ibiza (ES)    
10 July - Grind @ Timbuk2 Bristol (UK)   
14 July - Kehakuma @ Space Ibiza (ES)    
21 July - Pratersauna Vienna (AT)    
24 July - Coma @ Source Bar Maidstone (UK)    
31 July - Moon Harbour @ Le Regine Paris (FR)   
01 August - Kiesgrübe Neuss (DE)    
07 August - Welcome to the future (daytime) Amsterdam (NL)   
07 August - Fuse London
01 September - Kehakuma @ Space Ibiza (ES)    
04 September - Fabric London (UK)    
10 September - Republique @ Pumpehuset Copenhagen (DK)
19 September - Cadenza Lab @ Pacha Ibiza (ES)   
08 October - Café D'Anvers Antwerp (BE)    
09 October - Zukunft Zürich (CH)    
15 October - Saponeria Club Rome (IT)
Martinez | |


Roberto Capuano
Politics Of Dancing
Ralph Lawson