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Martinez - Restructured Layers

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Artist: Martinez

Album: Restructured Layers

Label: Out of Orbit

Review date: Feb. 8, 2007

In his liner notes to Restructured Layers, Chris Math reminisces on his adolescent exposure to dance music thanks to a “fractal graced cassette” entitled Euphoria and the subsequent realization it yielded, namely that “the ability to projecting [sic] the listeners ‘out there’ into the final frontiers or [sic] space and sound has always been the goal of all extraordinary techno music.” The prose may get derailed in second-hand English, but Math’s sentiment, albeit remarkably vague, does seem fitting for the debut CD from his Copenhagen-based Out of Orbit imprint. Space is the place for Martinez (née Martin Swanstein), in whose hands the bulk of triple-O’s catalog – 23 12”s in all including sides from Robert Babicz and Trentemøller – has been picked apart and pieced back together for an hour-plus of zero-gravity chug under twinkling synthetic starlight. In his own words, Martinez has “mixed, re-arranged, de-structed and restructured.” Altogether, it’s a remix project of truly galactic proportions.

A shimmering nebula of modulator etherea hovers over the proceedings, occasionally it may be obscured by all the squiggling lasers and white light flares, but it always returns, this scattered astral fizz. The inherent diversity in a label’s worth of output is here condensed into a long, smooth stretch of highway devoid of exits and detours. Forward thrust is everything, whether on bouncing rubber-soled pads or thwacked bongo skins. The calibrated groove hardly strays, but all over its sinuous path Martinez splashes cold pixels and telstar blips. Deep inside its slowly morphing expanse, the pulse begins to stutter and a melancholy organ softly mutes the beat. Particles click and clip as weightlessness gently materializes. The lull is fleeting. A martial throb surfaces and the shifting everything tunnels onwards like an elephantine arthropod.

Though he always identifies his source material - each untitled, consecutively-numbered track is accompanied in the CD booklet by a comprehensive listing of its contents - the experience of Restructured Layers is not one of sample-spotting but immersion. Martinez transforms the whole of Out of Orbit into one long, glorious song. It may not be entirely new but it’s total euphoria.

By Bernardo Rondeau

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