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The Air Between Words

Through experience, Holland's electronic darling Martyn seldom fails to deliver. One thing that has struck me about him over the years is how effortless his work seems. It’s rare for any element to feel out of place and there is real, human groove to be found amidst the synthesised revelry. His latest album The Air Between Words, released this month, is no different.

It's Martyn’s house and techno sensibilities that ride highest on this record. Beneath the trademark warm synth work and melodic intrigue rests some of the funkiest rhythms you'll hear. From the acidic ‘Empty Mind’ to the mesmerising throb of ‘Like That’, the drums are laced with groove and slickness.

Each track fits beautifully into what has come before. Opener ‘Forgiveness Step 1’ brings the listener in gently before the arrival of the deep, four-to-the-floor ‘Glassbeadgames’. I was involved right up until the final moments of the record, with the jazzy, piano rich ‘Fashion Skater’.

I get the strong feeling that Martyn is one of those musicians who will stand the test of time. The balance between danceable, groovy music and interest through synths and melody is often close to perfect. Unlike many producers he is compared to, he manages to retain a minimal aesthetic throughout. My standout track, ‘Two Leads & A Computer’, perhaps best demonstrates this, with a melody that is interesting enough to fill the mix and capture interest for a sustained period.

This record will reward both the established Martyn admirer and the new listener. It will make sense on both the dancefloor and the bedroom hi-fi and will engage you from start to finish. Not to be glossed over.