Boston-based Will Martin offers up the 16th installment in our mix series. A relative newcomer, his first track alongside Supply head John Barera dropped just last year, with two full releases following up in 2014. Looking at the tracklist, it’s clear to see where his production influences come from, it’s packed with early Chicago house and recent raw jams.
From what we gather, things started with Steffi using one of your tracks in her Panorama Bar 5 mix compilation. Tell us a bit about the journey before this, how did it all fit into place?
John and I have been buddies for a while through music and nightlife and had just become roommates at the time. All we were doing was working on or listening to music so it made sense for us to work together on something. Reality was the first track we ever did together actually, I had this instrumental of an old disco record that we chopped up and then John laid down this ridiculous funky baseline and we both knew we had something special. Steffi was asking all of her friends for unreleased music for her Panorama mix and John was on that list. Out of the multiple tunes he sent her she liked reality best, and ended up putting it on the P-Bar mix and here I am two years later putting out my first LP in October.
It’s tough to find a lot of information about you online, but what there is available is very promising, particularly the excellent review of your ‘Yen’ EP on John Barera’s Supply label. Would you say you’ve avoided self-publicity a little?
Yeah, admittedly I’m not the best at having a big internet presence. I’ll definitely tweet about releases and reviews when those things happen but that’s mostly for my friends and family anyway. There’s such a barrage of information and everyone’s a DJ these days, I almost feel bad about adding to the chaos, I’d much rather spend the time listening to records or making music.
All your productions that have seen a release are currently collaborations with John Barera. Do you plan to produce any solo tracks?
Absolutely. I’ve been producing for a while now and have a bunch of stuff in the pipeline. The records John and I have put out have definitely got my foot in the door where it wasn’t before. The plan is to have my first solo EP out sometime in 2015, fingers crossed.
Many DJs are booked on the strength of their productions rather their selection. Which of the disciplines comes more intuitively to you?
While I thoroughly enjoy making music and will probably be doing it for years to come my real passion is definitely in DJing. I’m constantly spending time in record stores wherever I go and know no greater joy than finding some crazy unheard gem of a record for like three bucks. And then to take that music that you’re so excited about and play it at a party in a way that can bring people together in some kind of primal celebration, there’s really nothing better than that.
Chicago and Detroit receive a great deal of publicity for their heritage in electronic music but what is the underground Boston scene like?
Boston is interesting. It’s smaller than I think people realize, the clubs don’t stay open past two on the weekends and public transit closes before that. We definitely don’t have this late night, alcohol at any time party till you drop thing like NYC or London that makes those places great for dancing. But we do have a ton of really passionate hardworking folks that make music and throw parties all over the city for little thanks. There’s this driven, against-the-odds attitude that I think breeds something really positive. And as I said, it’s a small city, pretty much we’re all seeing the same people out so when a party is really right, you’re just dancing with all your friends, it can be amazing.
We’ve heard you plan to release an album with John which will also be on Dolly, could you tell us a bit more about it? Have you approached releasing a full-length album differently to an EP?
Yeah, it’s coming out on October 6th. The Album’s called Graceless and is going to be 8 tracks on two plates of vinyl. To be honest we took a very similar approach to the LP that we have for our EPs. We’re both DJs ourselves and wanted to make the kind of record that we’d keep in our bag for ages. Something that works on the dance floor but is versatile and focused on songwriting and musicality. Maybe our next album will be a bit more experimental but this one was definitely all about making something to move your body to.
What are your go-to bits of gear in the studio, or is it all on software?
The studio has been growing pretty steadily over the last 2 years. MPC for sampling, the new Roland TR-8 (they did a really good job on this one), Moog Minitaur for basslines and leads, the Juno 106 which was the original piece in the studio and holds a dear place in our hearts and the Yamaha dx100 which although I knew it was going to sound great and be versatile has blown all of my expectations out of the water, that thing is a beast in the body of a toy.
Tell us a little about the mix, was there a particular theme?
These are all records I picked up or have been playing over the summer, kind of a culmination of all my favourite tunes that have produced special moments at parties over the last few months.
Finally, (as is custom with all our mix interviews), what are two tracks that never leave your record bag?
The JB’s “Doin It To Death” has got to be some of the funkiest shit ever made. Definitely an all time bomb party record that consistently finds it’s way into my sets. Second is Michael Boothman’s “What You Won’t Do For Love”. End of the night sexy disco tunes are my bread and butter and this one is the ultimate in that category. So many lights on, hands in the air moments have been produced putting it on at the end of a party, it’s a record that holds a dear place in my heart.
Larry Heard – The Dance Of Planet X
Hold Youth – Street My Baby
Aaron Arce – Pressure
Kyle Hall – Down!
XDB – Umega
Boo Williams – Old School Flavor
Daze Maxim – Farbfilm
Phil Weeks – Harlem Shuffle
DJ Sneak – Summer Day
Deep Style – Well Well Well (Marcus Club Style)
Ron & Chez D – Untitled
Muyei Power – Be Patient
Pharaoh Sanders – Love Is Everywhere
Evans Pyramid – I Want Your Body