Compared to his previous album, Great Lengths, Ghost People has a more confident sound — though you still can’t quite place it under one genre, except perhaps ‘Martyn Music’, as the Dutch electronic producer and label owner of 3024 refers to it. The album keeps in-line with Martyn’s vision of diverse, experimental sound that refuses to be pinned down.
Visual artist and long-time collaborator Erosie provided the artwork for the album, featuring an 18m high mural from the artist’s ‘Horror Vacui’ (meaning fear of empty space) series. Before the album was officially released in early October, the duo brought Ghost People to the people with parties in London and Berlin, where Martyn played live sets against a backdrop of Erosie’s art. Unintentionally befitting of the collaboration between visual art and music, the album feels more like an exhibition of the man’s music, something to keep fans going, but not quite hitting a peak yet.
Inspired by the hollowness of nightlife and the lifestyle that comes with being a DJ, Martyn describes how he “chose things that are further away from (him)”, hence the ‘Ghost People’ theme. “There are references to DJing in general. Not the jet-set DJ life, but the old Paradise Garage DJ life, where people want to share and play the music they really love, regardless of if it’s trendy. Nothing fancy or flashy. Just back to the roots”, as he said in an interview with Brainfeeder.
I sail through the first four tracks easily, especially ‘Masks’ with its smooth, deep beats, but I still feel like I’m holding my breath, waiting for something stronger to drop. Things begin to pick up with ‘Popgun’.
‘Ghost People', the album's title track is another number that cuts things up nicely and gets you moving.
Ghost People is an album that’s neither disappointing nor particularly memorable — until you get to the very end. The one track that really gets your attention is ‘We Are You In The Future’, a 9-minute track that slices any sort of monotony you might have felt, with its hypnotic, crashing breakbeats.
This last track is a sweet surprise that has been on repeat for the past week now, and leaves you wishing there was more. And you can bet that there will be.
01. Love And Machines (feat. Spaceape)
06. I Saw You At Tule Lake
07. Ghost People
08. Twice As
10. Horror Vacui
11. We Are You In The Future