Martyn "Masks" b/w "Viper"

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Although the full extent of his latest transformation won't be revealed until Martyn's Ghost People album is released in October, the "Masks" b/w "Viper" single does provide an interesting glimpse into the shape-shifting Dutchman's current musical inclinations. Although Martyn has been steadily moving away from dubstep in the past few years, this new single displays the work of an artist clearly enamored with classic four-on-the-floor rhythms. "Masks" is a precision piece of techno, one that nods toward old-school Detroit warehouse raves while sporting a bouncing bassline, shuffling percussion, sci-fi synth slabs, and melodies that constantly swell and deflate over the course of the song's five-minute runtime. The record also includes two versions of "Viper," the first being the two-and-a-half-minute "Ghost People Edit," an effort which severely dials down the percussion—there's no kickdrum—while revisiting the menacing synth sounds of tech-step drum & bass and pairing them with a series of psychedelic synth loops. The "London's Arches Edit" again pulls from the Metalheadz sound palette, albeit in a much more dancefloor-friendly fashion, as Martyn assembles a steppy house tune with a percussive skeleton of drum-machine claps, hiccuping vocal clips, and stuttering synth nuggets. It's energetic, it's foreboding, it's full of vigor, and it's honestly not far from the exemplary work being turned out by the Instra:mental camp as of late. One can only hope the rest of Ghost People shines this brightly.