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MARTIN REV

Martin Rev

See Me Ridin'

    Martin Rev's fourth solo album See Me Ridin' was released on the New York label Reachout International Records (ROIR) in 1996. Received by the critics with amazement, it proved to be a watershed moment in his career. Martin Rev's vocals are as minimal as they are sentimental, wonderfully poetic like a latter-day Chet Baker perhaps, or Jonathan Richman. This solo album not only blindsided Rev's critics and fans alike, but also painted a personal, nostalgic portrait of his home, New York; fading out the noise and contradictions of the city to channel the romantic energy of the metropolis. 

    Martin Rev

    Strangeworld

      Martin Rev's fifth solo album - Strangeworld - was released on the cusp of the new millennium. The label responsible was Puu, a Finnish imprint belonging to Tommi Grunlund and Mika Vainio's Sahko Recordings which came to fame in the 1990s on the strength of its uncompromising minimalist sound. Four years earlier, in 1996, Rev had unleashed See Me Ridin, an album which surprised its listeners with keyboard melody sketches and distilled doo-wop compositions. It was also the first solo album to feature Martin Rev on vocals. Strangeworld started where its predecessor left off. Melodic passages dissolved into a thicket of fragments and set pieces, coalescing in a celestial shimmer between rhythm loops and Rev's voice, which assumed the role of an additional instrument rather than a standard singing part. 

      Martin Rev

      Clouds Of Glory

        Martin Rev is best known as one half of the seminal duo Suicide (with Alan Vega). Listening to his solo albums, it becomes clear that Rev was responsible for the group’s music. Suicide mirrored the reductive and radical traits of the contemp- oraneous punk scene that was in the process of emerging, but their electronic, minimalist form of language was so unique, so innovative, that they would become a major influence on the likes of Daft Punk, Air and Aphex Twin. Alongside his work with Suicide, Martin Rev continued as a solo artist, releasing his eponymous debut album in 1980 on New York’s Infidelity label. Rev’s early solo excursions can be traced back to the original ideas which can be found – in modified form – in Suicide songs: as instrumental versions which have been texturally enriched, like a familiar figure which has nevertheless taken on a completely new existence.

        Clouds of Glory
        His second solo effort, was released on the French label New Rose in 1985, although the recordings on Clouds Of Glory actually dated back to the earlier part of the decade, following on from the Suicide sessions for the duo’s second album. Martin Rev remembers: “Clouds of Glory was produced from visual and musical sketches I had in mind which then coincidedwith an invitation by Marty Thau, previously Suicide’s manager, to take advantage of studio time he had accumulated from other projects. The essence of my ideas was then realized in the studio. Clouds was started in 1981 and completed in 1984 when additionalstudio time was made possible to complete it, based on the offer by New Rose Records.” In spite of Clouds Of Glory having been recorded with the sameequipment as the Alan Vega / Martin Rev Suicide album, it occupies a completely different space, evoking the solemnity of religious music through its underlying meditative tone. “I look now upon the album as part of a personal journey into the frontier of music; a process which is never ending in its revealing of possibilities to satisfy my musical aspirations.”

        TRACK LISTING

        1 Rocking Horse (5:45)
        2 Parade (6:45)
        3 Whisper (4:04)
        4 Rodeo (6:37)
        5 Metatron (6:25)
        6 Clouds Of Glory (6:22)

        Martin Rev

        Cheyenne

          Martin Rev is best known as one half of the seminal duo Suicide (with Alan Vega). Listening to his solo albums, it becomes clear that Rev was responsible for the group’s music. Suicide mirrored the reductive and radical traits of the contemp- oraneous punk scene that was in the process of emerging, but their electronic, minimalist form of language was so unique, so innovative, that they would become a major influence on the likes of Daft Punk, Air and Aphex Twin. Alongside his work with Suicide, Martin Rev continued as a solo artist, releasing his eponymous debut album in 1980 on New York’s Infidelity label. Rev’s early solo excursions can be traced back to the original ideas which can be found – in modified form – in Suicide songs: as instrumental versions which have been texturally enriched, like a familiar figure which has nevertheless taken on a completely new existence.

          Cheyenne
          Although it was not released until 1991, Martin Rev’s third solo album features a wealth of material from the year 1980. For “Cheyenne”, Rev created instrumental versions of many of the tracks which had formed the basis of the second Suicide LP entitled “Alan Vega / Martin Rev”. The sphere of Martin Rev’s influence and the relevance of his music may well be related to the fact that he was one of the first artists who succeeded in grasping the abstraction of electronic music, infusing it with a sense of immediacy built on raw energy. Whilst the likes of La Monte Young, Terry Riley, Steve Reich, Philip Glass and Kraftwerk were busy digging in the electronic music garden, Martin Rev found inspiration in the streets of New York. Rev’s music is informed by characteristic influences of the city, a place where doo-wop harmonies intermingle with the hiss and hum of the metropolis, dissolving into a collage of noise. So it is that dreamy, chiming melodies blur into ominous whirrs and drones emanating from rhythm machines and layers of distorted synthesizer. This polarity between convergence and alienation describes something deeply American, as reflected in the track names and the cover image of a rodeo rider: “The idea came from the way the tracks sounded as instrumentals. They took on a different visually descriptive dimension, even more so in combination. The visualization was an immediate sound- scape of the American landscape. That’s where the titles and cover came from.” Many of the pieces found on Cheyenne can be traced back to the sessions for the second Suicide album Alan Vega / Martin Rev (1980) which was produced by Ric Ocasek, singer for The Cars. Almost a decade passed before Martin Rev got around to editing and developing the material. “Most of the album was recorded in 1980, but the remaining few tracks from 1988 into the early 90’s. The 80’s tracks all went under a concerted editing process, to make them work for me even better as instrumentals. I didn’t get around to that until there was an offer to release them, which was in the early 90’s as well.” Indeed, Cheyenne plays out like a rural, yet intense road movie, crossing a landscape rich in beauty and contradictions.

          TRACK LISTING

          1 Wings Of The Wind (7:58)
          2 Red Sierra (6:36)
          3 Dakota (2:58)
          4 Cheyenne (3:09)
          5 River Of Tears (3:49)
          6 Buckeye (2:15)
          7 Little Rock (7:00)
          8 Prairie Star (2:27)
          9 Mustang (2:40)

          Demolition 9 is New York electronic music pioneer Martin Rev’s ninth solo album, and first new material since 2009. Comprised of 34 wildly divergent vignettes – only one of which reaches three minutes in length – he describes it as autobiographical “yearning for joy and the unattainable perfection of the artistic ideal.” The record spans a lifetime’s worth of moods and musings, encompassing fragments of Rev’s varied passions accrued across his nearly half-century long career. From violent percussion experiments to neo-classical reveries to noir-sleaze abstractions and beyond, Demolition 9 offers a radically non-linear spelunk through the dreams and distractions of one of the 20th century’s most influential sonic iconoclasts.

          TRACK LISTING

          1 Stickball
          2 Salve Dominus
          3 Deus
          4 Pace
          5 My Street
          6 T'Amo
          7 Into The Blue
          8 Requiem
          9 Now
          10 Blayboy
          11 In Our Name
          12 Never Mind
          13 Vision Of Mari
          14 Warning
          15 Salvame
          16 Dies Irae
          17 RBL
          18 Venitas
          19 Stretch
          20 Creation
          21 Toi
          22 Pièta
          23 It's Time
          24 Tacha's Toy
          25 Back To Philly
          26 Stelle
          27 Inside Out
          28 Beatus
          29 Tuba
          30 Rêve
          31 Concrete
          32 She
          33 Darling
          34 Excelsis


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