Martinez made his first true breakthrough back in 2000 when he released Laidback Grooves EP on the world renowned Guidance Records in Chicago. This EP, along with his other early works, was a journey through deep and jazzier beats. While most producers/ DJs are content to find a sound that works and run with it, Martinez knew he had more to offer the musical world. After three releases similar in sound to Laidback Grooves the Swedish born producer began to tinker in techier and more experimental styles. He is known for coining the term “Cosmic House”– his style of play which mixes up tech, colorful melodies, samples and utilization of atmosphere. After his bold moves he began to gain recognition from other producers like Steve Bug, Loco Dice, Sven Vath and John Digweed. More releases followed on Berlin based Get Physical Label and Steve Bug’s own Audiomatique Recordings.
Realizing the success of his willingness to venture out of his comfort zone and explore other sounds, Martinez continued to venture. After his successes on Get Physical and Audiomatique he begain his own label, Re:connected. His new imprint was to be used as a platform to begin releasing his new minimalistic geared music. He began to strip his style down and focus on a more minimal and techno oriented style, once again receiving huge support from peers like Ricardo Villalobos, Loco Dice, Richie Hawtin and Miss Kitten. Keeping with his form, Martinez has come full circle now returning to his roots, playing a housier style as of late. He has most recently worked with Cadenza and even more with Moon Harbour. His latest album balanced between chillout and dance-floor beats while still touching on techno, downtempo and even breakbeats.
mybeatFix caught up with Martinez to talk about Guidance Records, Cosmic House and inspiration for up and comers.
Some of your earliest work was with Guidance in Chicago. What can you say about Guidance Records and what working with them did for your career?
Yeah it was actually my first release ever and I released when I was only 18 years old, the first 12″ on Guidance. For me it was so big, as at that time Guidance was the absolute biggest label. I had every record from them and couldn’t really believe it when they called me up and wanted to do the release. I think it help me a lot to get the right attention from the start with my releases there, everyone checked out what came out on that label back then.
Most DJ/ producers are (lets say one dimensional) when producing or mixing. However, you seem to have thrived in exploring new and different styles. Can you explain the drive or motivation in doing this?
I think it should somehow be a very natural process for a musician and producer to want to try new things and develop your sound. I pretty much go with the feeling I have in that moment when I am in the studio (or performing as a DJ) and also what inspires me at the moment. Sometime it will be a deeper more moody house track and sometimes it hits more a techno feel. For me diversity is the most important factor to keep things interesting in life in general.
I listen to a lot of your earlier productions: “Electro De-Luxx,” “Sunchaser,” “Sambalate” –your “Cosmic” sounds. These productions have a very natural and classic sound to them, yet still very experimental. Where did these ideas come from?
Pretty much like I explain in the answer before, it just come from the mood and feeling I have that day when I hit the studio. The whole “cosmic” sound was something me and my old buddy Chris M, came up with when our love for “trancy” melodies and triply tech house was combined to create that sound which we then later released on our label Out of Orbit. He inspired me a lot with supplying me with these crazy underground progressive and trance stuff. I loved the ideas in the music and trippyness, but I always had my roots and love in House music, so I combined those elements (slightly tweaked though) with the House rhythms and that was how my friend came up with the word “Cosmic House”.
In the past year or so I’ve heard you play multiple styles at places like Robert Joshson, Harry Klein and The Cosmic Ballroom. Do you have a plan entering a show or does the specific night dictate the sound?
I do have a certain idea of what to play in the beginning of the night, the middle and the end. However, to be honest I found out that I tend to be ten times better when I just let go of everything and the less I try to control where I am going with the DJ set, the more fun places I end up. The best things happen spontaneously. For me that really happens after 1 – 2 hours and if you have the chance to play 3-4 hour sets then you really can build something special.
You’ve been very busy on Moon Harbour and this year saw you release on ViVa Music and Cadenza. However, can we expect anything from your own labels, Out Of Orbit and Re:connected, in the near future, or are these projects on pause?
No, those labels and projects are finished. Out of Orbit had its time with the whole “cosmic” sound and I didn’t want to bring that label into something else, I much rather let it stand for a certain area and be remembered for that. Re:Connected was actually just more of a series of records I made that led up to the full album “A Chemical Imbalance” so that was not really a label like that either. At the moment I feel that I have a much more relaxed and better working routine without doing the label and just releasing with others. Now I can really focus on just producing music and traveling for gigs, which is my main skills anyway. I was never any good at running a label.
6. Your story from Guidance to Audiomatique to Moon Harbour and you relentless effort to keep your sound fresh and keep your fans guessing is surely an inspiration to lots of up and comers. What advice can you offer to young DJs/ producers looking for a direction to go in?
Well, basically its just to go with your own feeling. Listen to your surroundings and find your way, and they you will have a unique sound. I think its important to be patient and now that it takes time to build something and each day/release/gig is just a piece of the pulse and an experience. Don’t stress yourself with looking at what other people achieve or what is the main thing now that sells, you will last much longer by keeping up the quality and present a personal sound.
A true renascence man of dance music, Martinez is one show not to miss for you eclectic stylehouse fans. On Friday, October 14, Martinez is going to be rocking Treehouse Miami alongside mybeatFix close friend, Nicolas Troncoso. Nicolas is quickly making a name in South Florida’s emerging tehcno and minimal scenes. Recent times have seen him share nights with the likes of Mr. C, Guti, Steve Bug, Ida Engberg, Anja Schneider, Adam Beyer and many more. Residing for LINK parties as well as Casanova Club alongside Maurizio Ruggiero, Nicolas is already a seasoned DJ despite his youth. A definite bright light in South Florida’s underground scene.