latest of percussionist Billy Martin's (MMW) solo
projects is the first in a series of breakbeat and percussion recordings
intended for use by turntablists. The record itself, which borrows its
name from Steve Cannon's book of the same title, is a pile of breakbeat
percussion studies done solo by Martin. On it's own, the record is far
more a tool for DJs to borrow from, tinker with, and build upon than something
intended for individual musical consumption. The point of the record is
what can be done with it. "DJ Logic asked me to do a breakbeat record
back during the Combustication/MMW tour we did together," said Martin
of the 1998 impetus for the record he's just produced.
recently wrapped up a four-week Wednesday night series at Exit Art, which
he co-curated in Manhattan, where DJs and musicians were set up to explore
the possibilities of the record. Much of the sessions were done duet style
(DJ and one musician at a time) with Martin jumping in with various percussion
toys. The process refutes all known precedents of the contrived concept
of the duet, which occasionally creeps its way into popular music. The
recorded material from these sessions will be culled along with that of
future studio sessions for upcoming releases.
involved and/or confirmed are Martin's "friends like Medeski, Scofield,
DJ Logic, Scotty Hard, DJ Olive, Cyro Baptista," he said of the continuing
project. "I am also thinking about calling Iggy Pop, Miho Hatori (Cibo
Matto), Beck, [John] Zorn, [Marc] Ribot and some other heavys that I've
worked with in the past. The wheels are turning."
harnessing talent already existing in Martin's known universe, Martin's
put out the call through Amulet Records' web site for any and all submissions
of recorded music that incorporates material from Illy Beats Vol. 1. "I'm
really into hooking up with fresh raw garage/bedroom type talent," he
explained. "The young people have some radical ideas and I want to keep
it fresh and expose the underdogs. This is not really a contest, but a
way to communicate and collaborate with other DJs and musicians." Although
Billy admits that most of the outside submissions have been difficult
to listen to, at least one stand-out track will find it's way onto the
next record. "The latest one I received from a DJ RPM in Maine," he said.
"He calls himself a 'Cowboy Phonographologist.' His mix is super dope."