June 13th, 2012
Summer is upon us – here in NY it is muggy and hot and Im working constantly while at home on the new MartyParty MVP album and new PANTyRAiD album. On the weekends I fly around the country and play festivals and meet the fans.
To say Im living my dream would be an understatement. I wanted to start blogging more about my life so Ill start right here right now. I want to start by setting the record straight. I make all kinds of music – slow sexy music, fast club music, hard dubstep music, and even beatless synth music for commercials. I make it all on the computer, no hardware other than a MIDI keyboard. I use Ableton Live as my DAW (the framework environment), and all kinds of plugin synthesizers and audio effects. I compose the music, in what I like to call “sketching”, which usually I do on the plane, in the hotel or over tea in the morning – but mostly whilst on the move or at the airport , I then take these sketches back to the studio and make them sound tight and elaborate the sketch into a story or song. I then master the track in Ableton using mastering plugins. The final file rendered from Ableton is what I play live, or put out for release on the internet.
I test my music early and often at my live gigs and pride myself in playing only MartyParty music or music from my collaborations in my sets. It works really well because I get to test the new songs on the big sound systems and make notes on problems or mistakes – which I then correct that week and retest them the weekends after – this process works really well for me and helps me aim the tunes at the targeted audience. This also means I have become hooked on playing brand new songs in every show and I have developed a reputation for this which I love because it challenges me to be fresh and productive. I love to drop new songs in their most raw state onto an audience hungry for the new-new sounds. Nothing is more satisfying than when it works and the song makes people dance like mad or get goosebumps. I then know its a keeper
I am very productive – inspiration comes easily to me – dont know why – it comes from a melody, a tone, a moment in life or another song I hear on the radio in the cab ie. from anywhere. It only takes a chord to get a Purple song started. From the chord comes a scale, from the scale comes a progression, a bassline, a melody, a harmony and ultimately a unique adventure through the scale with fresh new sounds. I design all my sounds myself using various soft synthesizers and try to keep the entire project in its rawest state – ie. MIDI notes, till as late as possible because the song is always changing and rendering it to audio or any of its layers, loses the meta data from its creation, thereby losing the ability to go back and effect the original sound.
I like melody. Im a huge fan of harmonic and polymelodic progression. This is the foundation of my Purple genre. Im less interested in bpm (beats per minute) – and compose and perform music of all nature of bpm. I love performances or “sets” where the speed of the music changes seamlessly through many tempos and vibes but feels like one consistent voice – this is why I refer to my sets as “Purple Operas”. I started using the word Purple to describe my sound after being interviewed and asked what kind of music I made. It felt wrong to call it Glitch, Hip Hop, Dubstep or anything that existed. The closest thing to it was some of the tunes Joker in the UK was putting out, this was in the days of writing the original PANTyRAiD The Sauce album. I started to use the term Purple at that point to describe what I felt was a Hip Hop intention, melodic, clubby, electronic music. Since then Joker has used the word “Grime” to describe his music, but I continue to use Purple as it just makes sense to me. It is an in between color, and my music is an in between music. It is genre-free and doesn’t fit any pigeonholes. To me, Purple music is melodic, synthesized music. It has chord progressions, leads, basslines and harmonics and can be at any tempo.
Ive always loved Hip Hop and the voice of Hip Hop instrumentals, and when I started composing in 2005 I wanted to make instrumental Hip Hop. At that time the whole bass movement had begun and I used basslines to replicate the lead voice (the rapper in Hip Hop”) – dubstep then became a real genre which is really bassline lead music. Since then Ive released over 100 bassline based songs. Ive always strived to not reuse sounds or drum hits and take pride in not recycling my sounds and making every song completely unique in every way. This doesnt mean Im not influenced by music I hear, and some songs may sound similar to others you may have heard. But I think Ive done a pretty good job of designing original sounds and syncopation’s. Im now on my 6th year of production (Im really a kid!) and Im going deep into the complex patterns of the Hip Hop beat, composing Purple “Trap” or like I like to call it “Progressive Hip Hop” – that is Hip Hop beats with Purple melodic layering – my latest works, due to be released in the MVP album are just that. Im also working with Ooah on the second PANTyRAiD album, which is once again a sexy ride through the Purple genre.
I started doing this 6 years ago after being in the software industry for 12 years (I have a BSC in Computer Science from Cape Town University), and only discovered my musical ability when I was 35 Because of this I have inspired many people to take up music production and this has become a fabulous side aspect of my career. To inspire and to teach people that life is about many paths, not just one, you can do anything you set your mind to. It is never too late to live a dream. My ultimate goal is to compose and tour for many more years and then to open the MartyParty Beat Academy and teach kids to make EDM music. I also happen to be an excellent teacher Both my parents were teachers.
Couple random things Ive been asked:
- I struggle with the music industry. I dont ever feel a song is finished and the whole release process is whack to me. Like software (“apps” etc on your iphone) I feel songs are always changing and improving and should be able to do so. I am working on a platform to enable this – stay tuned.
- I do remixes from time to time – it is a cool break from the looping While Im working on my original albums I experiment with other genres and mediums via remixes. I like to improve or change any kind of song, as long as I relate to some aspect of it. I sometimes release these little sketches – sometimes not. But lately it has become a source of hate by many narrow minded people, not understanding the concepts and background Ive explained above.
- I am not signed to any labels and I am self-managed. It is the internet age and I take full advantage of it. I just started my own label MartyPartyMusic and use InGrooves as my digital distributor. It works perfectly. I have pure organic growth based on word of mouth and help from amazing blogs or publications that pick up on the freshness of what Im doing, but I have never been injected into a large database of emails or into a fan making engine (which is what labels and management firms do). I consider all my fans real fans, that have a connection to me through my music or a show they saw me play. I like this feeling. Yes, organically as I grow, I realize I will need help, and have slowly brought other amazing people into my world, but it in my own unique way. I like organic growth. I like the fan connection. If I grow, its because my music is fresh, expressive, unique and innovative, and if I work with any larger network or concern it will be ones that support my vision and understand these values. Like my amazing agent says “It is an endurance race, not a sprint” Im in this for the long haul – I will be making music till I die and playing it with tremendous emotion and energy to open and hungry ears for as long as humanly possible. There is no rush. I am very happy – you the reader of this text right here are the people I do this for. You found me
Anyway – I wanted to explain a little bit about myself and my world and will continue to do so on my website Journal. Im just a person, self managed, self motivated, self inspired that expresses himself through digital music. Please comment if you have questions, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Much love to my fans, now back to the music … You gonna love the new stuff – catch it live in my shows, or grab the new album when it pops out soon. If you dont know the music – grab some at martyparty.com/music or on iTunes.
Live in Peace and Love one another. Oh and definitely make art – it is the meaning of life. MartyParty.