Dance Music

MartyParty | Interview

by JM on November 23, 2010

MartyParty is one of the most known producers in the glitch-hop, purple, dubstep,etc… game right now. I had the pleasure of seeing him come out to Austin, TX for a show. I put some questions together for him. Unfortunately I was unable to do the interview in person but his team was helpful enough to get them back to me. Austin is wild and something going on every night so didn’t get to say whats up to him but he’ll be back!

Marty takes us into his world in this interview. There’s a lot of things ahead. The man is truly going to revolutionize the whole purple sound. There will be more information about his next upcoming Skukuza EP later today on the site. I really want to thank Marty for taking the time to get back to me with these answers. I can’t wait to catch him again when he returns to Texas.

MartyParty Interview:

When did you start producing music at what age and what sort of medium did you use at that time and how has it evolved into what you do today?

I started producing my music in 2005 – I downloaded Ableton Live evaluation and picked it up fast – I bought Live a week later and produced my first digital album in 6 weeks – I havn’t looked back . I still use Ableton Live, however my tooling has evolved to include all the latest and greatest VST and Audio Unit plugins, synthesizers, filters, effects and volumes of drum one shot samples. My approach has evolved considerably and Im able to complete a track, mastered for release in an 8 hour day. This is through the invention of various “formulas” for developing the musical evolution of a basic chord transition and melody. Id love to talk more about it but its top secret 😉

You have been hard at work with tour and just wrapped up a tour with The Glitch Mob. Can you tell us a little bit about tour life.

Touring is pretty new to me – The Glitch Mob tour was my first “every day” tour – Ive had been doing fly ins up until then. It was an amazing experience and I learned a lot. I went from that tour onto the Mimosa/EOTO tour and that was also amazing. In 3 months I played in every major city in the US and Canada which is where touring really makes sense – you just make so many fans on the road. Having a good tour manager is the most important lesson I learned. I’m on PANTyRAiD tour currently and then onto Monsters of Bass tour with Freq Nasty and Opiuo for 35 dates across the whole country again in February and March. I plan to do my first MartyParty tour in Summer 2011 and am starting to plan that – I’m going to get to take the purple opera to a whole next level with some production budget. I will also be playing my preferred 3 hours sets on my own tour. That lets me really take the audience through the various flavors of MartyParty Music.

Clearly you have lots of tracks to date but are there any that stick out to you the most while you were producing them and do you feel a certain vibe when you create music?

When a hit comes along you feel it early – its just the way the instruments and tones of the layers sit in the mix with the beat, and the way the original intention flows through the whole piece. It just makes a magic feeling. I have several of these on the releases planned late 2010 through 2011. I write two kinds of music – 80-90bpm sexy pretty music or more Acid Crunky music – for that I try make sure to create a specific dance which I imagine a sexy woman would do to the track, and then purple music, which is 140bpm dance music which is just about losing your mind and jumping around the studio. If I feel those vibes in the tracks I know I’m on to something. Lately its been hitting quite a bit, on the upcoming EP Skukuza, the Los Angeles and Its Complicated tracks really illustrate the intention of MartyParty. On the next releases there are several standouts. Take a listen to www.martyparty.org – I dump every song I write very early on onto my website to stream and I have over 2000 listeners a day on there. Its become a bit of a radio station. See if there are any you think will stand out when mastered and released.

Honestly – when I make a beat that I just know will make the fans go WILD or make my wife run into the room – that is when I know its a goody -its a feeling you get as a producer/DJ – u know what the people want to hear, and you can make just that.

What do you have planned for 2011? Can you tell us about any new releases you working on?

I currently have 2 EP’s going out on The Confluence label in early December, then I have 3 full length albums of material I’m releasing in early 2011 – still working out how to package them – but they are all the tunes from my 2010 DJ set. I spent the last 2 months slowly mastering them whenever I return home to my studio. I will start writing the 2011 set in December and want to develop a pattern of a month in the studio, then touring the content of that month for 2 months, and so on through the year – then releasing the entire set each year.

Where do you think music today will be say 5years from now? Do you feel the day and age of vinyl will be lost? What do you currently use to preform?

Hopefully in the mainstream! Gosh. Yes vinyl is thankfully gone. I couldn’t do what I do with only two decks. I use Ableton Live and prepare a very unique DJ set made up of my tracks, and then acapellas, one shots and effects which I trigger using a MIDI pad controller in the live show. I use a M-Audio TriggerFinger still as all the newer controllers break and don’t travel well. I found the Triggerfinger to be the toughest – I hit those pads very hard in the middle of a flying leap and often spill my beer and sweat on my equipment. I mix 3-6 channels at once which is what really makes my set unique. Its the purple opera. It cannot be done with turntables/Serato/CDJs etc. Those are legacy tools now. I travel with a very high quality audio interface and my tracks are rendered as 48000 24bit resolution files (80MB each) – the result is a very high quality A to D conversion and outstanding sound quality. Another MartyParty differentiator, because I make all the music I play – its the highest possible quality – no mp3’s in my set 🙂 I also never pre define a set – my set is like a game of Mahjong – I have probably 70 tracks in a set and try and navigate through them differently each time, attempting to clear them all by the set end. Obv. this is not possible in 60-90 min sets, but lately in my 3 hour MartyParty headline shows Ive got through almost all of them. Its a huge victory for me when that happens and it was seamless.

Traveling so much city to city how do you manage keeping it fun and building connections versus it strictly business?

Practice – its a job and is not as glamorous as one might think. From the start of the set to the end of the set is the easy part – the hard part is the logistics of traveling – often driving from one gig to another with no sleep, or dealing with airport security and layovers. Its tough, but I love my job. Once I’m at the venue and the fans come in it all becomes worth it again. My fans are amazing and loyal and make me feel at home anywhere I travel, and it keeps building to a point where I have relationships with groups of fans in each city I play. Its an amazing organism.

Are there any interest you have besides music that totally captivate you? Is there something else you do to take a break from music. What are other things in the world that makes you smile?

My wife Mary and dog Mackie are my life away from music. But I spend way too much time in my studio and sound design, arrangement and all the various crafts in the process of original music production have addicted me beyond explanation. It is an unbelievably rewarding art, where the feedback from your efforts is immediately felt and the possibilities are endless. I spend my days inventing new sounds and music styles. What a life! I don’t want to miss a second of it. OBSESSED YES!!!

You’re originally from South Africa and moved to the States but are there any other place or city that you’d absolutely love to call your home or visit for a short time? Feel free to make a place up and describe it.

I moved from Johannesburg South Africa in 1995 and settled in San Francisco, I since moved to New York where I have lived for 2 years. I love NY!!!!! Couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. However I have a special place in my heart for Amsterdam , Berlin, Cape Town and Malpais, Costa Rica where I surf and worship the sun.

If you had to describe love or what you feel as a human drives you to be complete content what would it be for you?

We encounter people, things and experiences on our journey through life which just make us feel more complete, and we miss them when they are gone. This is the love zone and the more incomplete you feel without something or someone, the more you love it. I am currently madly in love with purple music and the evolution of electronic music as it enters the mainstream to challenge contemporary music genre’s in a whole new way. I love music and could not live without it. If I don’t create a new song after a few days I get depressed and frustrated. I am addicted to creation. I cant imagine life without art anymore and don’t know what I did before to find contentment.

Biggest influence, person you respect the most, and can call a friend in music?

Its a draw between Josh (Ooah) and Tigran (Mimosa) – I consider them the best pure musical talents Ive ever encountered. We are all very close friends and whenever we hang out we make amazing music together. I would be nowhere without those two guys.

Who is your top musical influences that really hit you with emotion that you’d like to share?

Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin really made we look deeper into musical composition. They both taught me what a song was – I very soon learned the difference between a beat and a song after I got to know their music. Bob Marley and Dr Dre influenced my intention a lot. Currently Mimosa influences me as I’m a huge fan of his overall intention and tonal quality.

Anything you want to say to anyone or message you want to conclude with for your final words?

If you havn’t seen or heard the purple opera – you don’t know what you missing. Music is back and its prouder and louder than ever. Catch my show – you will be an instant fan. Its just that fun.

Here are some of Marty’s latest tunes! Seriously purple opera on big system is mind blowing.

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