Marty Party Goes Minimal In New Project Primal Intent [Interview]
Since 2007, Martin Folb has successfully broken the monotomy of dance music with his soulful yet heavy bass music, working as a solo artist and as a member of PANTyRAiD with Ooah from Glitch Mob. With countless tour dats and releases under his belt, Marty Party has demonstrated that he is not just a one trick pony, and his diversity in sound has given him the ability to break down genre barriers with finesse and ease.
This year, Martin embarks on a new journey with fellow producer Paul Gorman in Primal Intent, and they are bringing the "minimal bass" vibes in full force with their debut album, available now on iTunes. EDM.com hopped on a call with Martin to discuss his inspiration behind launching Primal Intent and his veteran perspective on the direction of bass music today.
EDM: So tell me a little bit about Primal Intent? I've been checking out some of the songs off the album and it sounds really dope. What are you hoping to accomplish with that project?
Really it's just another voice, another form of expression. When I got off tour in like March when I got home I was like: I wanted to do something completely different. I've made some house songs as Marty Party, but I've never really dug too deeply into minimal and techno and coming from it from a whole different perspective where it's like, what can you do with the least amount of sounds. So, I just started to mess around and I have a friend down there Paul that produced music. He went to Ibiza, he got involved and he learned how to produce techno in Ibiza on Ableton so we just started hanging out together, smoking weed and writing songs that just became the Primal Intent album. Literally every song is a different genre. Everything is made entirely in Ableton with Operator, there's no other synths used, there's no other plugins used, so it has a very sort of different sound to anything I've done before because, I don't know if you're aware, but if you use one only one synthesizer or one environment than all the sounds mix together really well cause they're all in perfect tune. Often if you mix a lot of different vendors plugins, you know you get a different sound. So it just has a unique different sound that I like. It's just a different voice. It's very dark, it's very organic. And it goes there, it goes into very minimal, it goes to techno, it goes to trance. There's some tracks which are kind of dubsteppy. There's some moments that are kind of trappy, but at the end of the day it's like a whole new thing. So, you know I stated PANTyRAID, I started Marty Party, and now I've started Primal Intent and they're three kind of different voices of who I am you know?
Ya, I think that's really amazing how you can collaborate with different artists and showcase the different sides of who you are and the stories you like to tell. I was looking at some old interviews, when you said how anyone can kinda build a loop and a really peaktime moment, but it's all about writing a story and telling a story and I think that's really impressive that you can do that with so many different people, so cheers to you on that.
No that's a good point. Collaboration is not easy. A lot of people wonder why a lot of artists don't collaborate. A lot of artists tend to do their own thing because working with someone is hard. Especially with art where it's subjective so you have to compromise. And I'm just really good and tolerant at compromising and you know I'll always tell people it's probably because I spent fifteen years in corporate world, you know, working in a corporate world where you work in teams and you have to give. You can't have your own way. You have to accept that other's people input is valid. And, I'm just really good at that so I'm really good at working with other people. One of the things that I've been working with the last few months is working with vocalists and producing songs for other artists that aren't necessarily EDM producers but more singers and rappers. It works really well too because I'm very tolerant and I don't go 'here's the beat, sing on it, if you don't like it, f*ck off!' which typically, a lot of producers actually do. To be quite honest, I like pretty much everything in music, and I like all sounds; every sound has a home to me.
How would you describe your continuous change in sound with Marty Party & Primal Intent?
I've gone through every genre because I keep making music that's fresh, whatever genre is hot, whatever I feel. And add it to my sets and my sets, Marty Party sets always go through every genre and I just try and keep doing that in an original way with original material. And so, Primal Intent and this whole move, it's just a reflection that times are changing. You know, we went through dubstep and now we've gone through trap and I think people are getting into deep house and progressive house and techno. I'm just moving with the times and I couldn't be happier. I said that about dubstep and trap, I couldn't be happier that things are changing, I love it.
What do you think is the biggest issue that electronic music is facing today?
The biggest con to me is just the inundation and over-saturation of electronic music because I think that everybody thinks they can be a DJ and everybody thinks they can produce music because the tools and the accessibility of education and instruction and things like that has just exploded with the internet and with the actual business itself. And I think that it's given it a bad name actually. And it's hurt a lot of really good talented producers and performers and I think the audience has also lost interest. And I think we're going through a stage which I predicted. It was the same in technology, you know, you get that over-saturation and then you know the cream rises again and what it does is it forces true talented people to express themselves and to get back to work. Like everyone jumps on the same ship, and then the ship starts to sink, and the people that can swim will head to another place and they start a new thing.
I think the mainstream has taken the underground sound. And the mainstream producers have got their ghost-writers to take that sound, and it's saturated the genres to a degree where the business is starting to hurt. You know, a lot of major big acts have cancelled tours this year and have had really bad shows. I speak to my agents all the time, and Windish represents the biggest artists there are in the world. Their business is hurting, and that's just because there are too many tours right now. There are too many shows, and typically these shows are not that good. You know they're riding on the whole EDM wave and what they're doing is presenting great projections and LEDs and big sound systems but the actual content is not very good. It's boring, and I think fans have gone from “Wow! There's this whole new experience” like the fair is in town a few years ago, to now where they're like “Every song sounds the same! I'm bored.” So on one hand it sucks because the business hurts, we don't get as many good shows, fans become a little bit more hateful, and things become more predictable. But at the same time, just like in technology, it just means that there's gonna be massive change. And I'm just glad that I'm the kind of person that can accept that change and take it as a challenge and create new genres, which I'm really good at. And that's what I'm kinda doing with Primal Intent, I'm kind of making a new genre, I call it Minimal Bass,- it's minimal techno with basslines.
I wanted to ask you: What's your stance on Soundcloud right now? I saw some posts from you that kind of seems like you were a little upset with them making the deal. Do you think that their desire to monetize the platform will crowd-out smaller independent artists?
Here's the point. At the end of the day, once again, I've been through the dot.com thing. I was part of Silicon valley when it started, I went through the whole dot.com thing from start to finish and I got out of it, but I've seen how these businesses start, and they all start with business models that are based on free adoption. And they all offer amazing tools and features for free, to get users and once they have the users, they need to prove to the investors that they can actually make money, and they have to make money somehow. And the ways that they make money is they slowly turn on the advertising model and then at some point they have to either do a subscription monetization model or do deals with other companies to bring revenue into what are just huge debt-bases. To build that software and to get that adoption costs a lot of money. So, they have to do it to survive. Twitter, Facebook, all of them are gonna have to do it. And you can slowly see it appearing, they turn it on as slowly and as subtly as possible. With Soundcloud I think the timing is particularly bad because there really isn't anything else like Soundcloud. And I think Soundcloud is hugely responsible for the massive adoption and wave of mainstream EDM because it was a way for people to get their sounds out there and develop a fan-base for free. And you know, you can be a hater and go 'f*ck them' for not making it free, but like I said, you gotta understand that it's just a business. And if you wanna live in a capitalist society you gotta accept that people have to make a profit. So, good on them for making a profit, and good on them for creating a feature set. My concern is the way they roll out their revenue-generating model. Whether they do it in a way that supports what they started or whether they do it in a way which hurts independent artists. You know, that to me at the end of the day is where I live, is I'm an independent artist. I think it's the breeding ground of everything that become mainstream and it needs to be nurtured and supported for what it is and respected.
I'm sure you've seen Taylor Swift and her issue with Spotify, what's your take on that?
You know, I'm coming from an independent artist background where I never really expected to make any money from my art. I really just did it out of the love of music and the fact that I get booked I'm always shocked and surprised and thankful. But at the end of the day, we're talking about pop-stars that have massive lifestyles and have a lot of dependency on selling music and making money from music and they've built industries around themselves. Companies like Spotify, which are eating away at their revenues and they're in panic-mode and they're striking back. Spotify was just a really clever company that used litigation and clever legal loopholes to make a business out of selling peoples' music. And yes, at the end of the day if you rely on, if you need a lot of money to live, you're gonna be pissed off at Spotify because, you know, they're taking millions of dollars away from these people which is gonna hurt. But you have to look at it again and go back and step back and say the world has changed, the internet does exist, and people's consumption of music has changed, and the way people create and produce music has changed. You have to accept it. The internet is part of content delivery, and free music is part of the world, and people expect free music. You can't fight technology. You can't fight progress, and obviously I don't want to see, if I spend ten hours making a beautiful song and I put it online and somebody takes it and goes and plays it as a DJ and gets booked and I don't that would piss me off. Thankfully that hasn't happened, there's been a level of respect still within the whole institution of live EDM performing, but for someone like a Taylor Swift or an artist that makes their money off their voice and that collateral, ya I can see them getting very upset with companies that are giving their stuff away for free. I mean I think it's gonna happen in EDM too. You know it already is, you know people, DJs, and I don't want to get into that too deeply but the DJ versus producer thing is a thing that's bubbling up right now, it's getting worse and worse every year. You know people are getting very angry that some people can download music and go have a DJ career and make more money and sell more tickets than the people that made the actual music.
What direction is bass music moving. I know you're kind of moving into experimenting with different stuff, minimal bass as you call it, but what do you think is the future of Bass music?
Well like I've said before there's good production and then there's not so good production and I think anybody that produces good music is going to win. And bass lead music, which is music that has a mid-range bass lead I think will always have a home if it's done well. If it's done as if you're singing with bass, instead of just trying to make a noise. And I mean, people like Mimosa and the Glitch Mob are really good at doing that. They sing with synthetic basslines, and I think there will always be a home and I think that's a genre that will continue to evolve and as fans become more accepting of synthesized leads instead of vocal leads, that industry will grow and grow and those artists will grow and grow. I think there will always be a home for it because it's absolutely magnificent when it's done well. The problem with it is that it can really easily be done badly and I think that's what happened with dubstep, it just gave bass music a bad name because people just made really poorly composed terrible leads out of bass and made people, made it too aggressive.
Awesome, I just have one more thing for you. What can the fans expect for 2015 from Marty Party and PANTyRAID and your different projects?
Marty Party I have a whole new album I've written that's still getting mixed. I'm not in such a rush like I used to be because I have a career and a fanbase. So I'm making sure that it's really good before I put it out. I've made maybe thirteen new Marty Party songs that I'm gonna be putting out. There's a new PANTyRAID album that's in the works that's gonna come out. Primal Intent is born which will continue to be making that minimal sound. All three projects are just pushing what's possible with EDM and trying to create timeless music, and trying to evolve the performance of EDM, and show people that there's room to improve on all aspects of the industry. On the production, on the live show, on the voice online. Try and be more positive, I think that's a definite change going forward is I'm trying to use more positive samples. If I use vocal samples I'm using less of the hip-hoppy nasty samples and more positive, uplifting samples just to move people into a more positive direction. And you can do that with just as much nastiness and just as much impact. It's really just what voice do you want to sing with and going into 2015 I think all my voices are going to be more positive.
Alright, thank you so much Martin!
No problem my friend. Thanks a lot.
Written by Mike Teez