Dig and Discover: Murcof - Martes
LABEL (YEAR): THE LEAF LABEL (2002)
FOR FANS OF: Amon Tobin, SQUAREPUSHER, APHEX TWIN
Words by Jasper Morvaridi
Martes is undoubtedly Murcof’s most famed album, and rightfully so. The nine-song debut from the artist, also known as Fernando Corona, combines the somewhat opposing worlds of contemporary classical music with electronic minimalism and glitch. Originally released exclusively in Mexico in 2001, the record saw wide distribution across Europe and North America by the ever-consistent Leaf Label the following year. Recently, it saw a rare repress as part of The Leaf Label's 20 Year Celebrations.
The use of the sparser elements of classical music – be it the pluck of a violin, one bow’s length across a cello, or the pound of piano keys – is subtly contrasted with glitches and beats. The result is a recontextualisation of classical music in which traditional instrumentation finds new space to breathe, while the electronic foundations of the record are in no way overbearing.
On ‘Mes’, moments of suspense, leaving the listener anticipating the next violin pluck, are juxtaposed with atmospheric layers of texture. ‘Mir’, on the other hand, sees the use of instrumental samples in unison with the erratic glitch beat, the two complementing each other, urging the listener to stay locked in.
Martes is a delicately intense record that forces you to engage with it and actually listen. The result, in many ways, engrosses the listener in the various layers and loops of the music, always on the lookout for what’s next.
NB: one for headphones/good speakers.