Martyn Heyne - Electric Intervals

by Joseph Majsterski Rating:7 Release Date:2017-11-17
Martyn Heyne - Electric Intervals
Martyn Heyne - Electric Intervals

Martyn Heyne's debut album, Electric Intervals, is ambient in the broadest sense: it's intended to be background music for the most part. The instrumentation here is a bit different than "standard" ambient, in that it's almost entirely guitar-centric with electronic flourishes, rather than the other way around. But the things done with the guitar are pretty darn impressive, with loads of echoing layers building upon each other across much of the set. It's shocking that Heyne has only released a single EP before this set. His songwriting, as boutique and almost new agey as it is, comes off as extremely mature and well considered.

The most noticeable, and possibly best, song in the set is 'Faro'. As I said, I mostly played this in the background while doing other stuff, and I let it loop over and over again. Every time 'Faro' played it would catch my attention. It's an extremely mellow song, with gentle guitar plucking, as is most of the material, but on this track everything just works. It's soothing in a profound way. It's like elevator music at a yoga retreat next to a placid lake in a forest. On the moon. It's somehow both naturalistic and futuristic. Another charming tune is 'Come On', with a lilting melody that passes by far too quickly.

A few other tracks catch my attention on every go round. Lead track 'Curry' has the advantage of being first, when I'm paying the most attention, but it's also fairly arresting with its reverbing gutiar front and center. Final track 'Curium' has a languid beat and stretches out for nearly ten minutes, giving it an incredibly epic feel. A complex, multi-staged guitar melody draws the listener forward like a tour guide, pointing out all the sights and landmarks along the way. There are also transitions to much more electronic and even borderline industrial sections; through the middle a buzzing synth gets warped and twisted before giving way to a classic UFO abduction effect, which then flows right back into the guitar. 'Luxury' and 'Wilde Wide' seem to be congruent approaches to the same song, both making use of piano to create extremely melancholic, almost foggy melodies, places to get lost. The latter feels a bit bulkier and succeeds more.

Most of the rest of the album passes by pleasantly without making a huge impact other than where noted above, which seems to be the goal here: unobtrusive, even wholesome music that you'll be content with for many, many iterations. Heyne has done a fine job of crafting a delicate work with essentially no hard edges that doesn't sound like a typical ambient album, but clearly fits in the space. If you like to let your music make a place for you to relax, this will fit the bill perfectly.

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