If you think about figures of prominence in electronic music over the past 20 years, Martijn Deijkers should be among them. From cutting his teeth as a drum & bass DJ in Holland, to pioneering dubstep in the noughties, to residing with Ostgut Ton, Martyn has always been at the forefront of the scene. What makes his music distinctive is a a certain intensity of production, fired up by ravey roots and sharpened by a European sophistication. His DJ sets also grapple the dance floor, as he invests a lot of time digging the world’s record shops for the keenest techno cuts, as well as more eclectic selections for his NTS show.

We can’t wait for him to take control of the Wire basement at Pearson Sound’s event Acetate this Friday, 4th March. The two were Hessle Label mates, and are now both alphas in the techno ecosystem. Joined by Shanti Celeste, who’s part of the new school but with a strong reputation behind her already, it is once again bound to be an evening of cracking underground sounds.

So, what did Martyn have to say for himself ahead of the party? We asked him.


We’re really excited to hear the next Doms & Deykers record you have made with Steffi. You have also collaborated with Four Tet in the past. How did this come about? And what does collaboration offer that solo work cannot? 

I was never really into collaborating all that much but over the last few years I have learned that it can actually bring a lot to your own music. Everyone uses different techniques, has different ideas so it’s nice to take a peek into someone else’s kitchen, as well as sharing your ideas. Steffi and I have been doing so much music together that our collaboration has become like a machine now, making the results better and better.



Your show on NTS is marvellous. What do you enjoy about that alternative setting? How do you approach it differently?

Thanks! It’s so much fun putting shows together. When a show is coming up (it’s monthly) I start jotting down the names of tracks I want to play, come up with a tentative order and take it from there. So the shows are partly prepared and partly freestyle. The point is to highlight a lot of music that doesn’t necessarily gets a lot of club play. I’m not really about trying to find the most obscure music out there, but I want to keep the quality really high, regardless of whether the music is well known or rare.


Tell us about your interest in David Sylvian and Japan – how does that New Wave/New Romantic movement influence what you do?

Both Japan and its separate members as solo artists have influenced so many other groups from that era, and I don’t think they get enough credit for it sometimes. When you think about collaborations, Japan have done so many interesting ones, with a very wide range of people.


Sylvian is making extremely experimental music nowadays. What do you predict you will be making in years to come – if anything? Will it always be for the dance floor?

No idea. You can’t plan or predict inspiration, it comes every day (or not) and you do with it what you can. I never thought I’d be doing the music I am doing now five years ago, but that is what makes it exciting too. My residency at Panoramabar is what really inspires me to do music nowadays – I think of how far the musical boundaries in that club can be stretched, and  how my music can fit in that spectrum.


You also list Blade Runner as one of your influences. You have obviously given your life over to technology. Where did this fascination come from? Is there any chance that technology might come back to hurt us as a race? Are we heading to dystopia?

What I love about Blade Runner isn’t really the sci-fi side of the story, but the human narrative. The quest for belonging. I wouldn’t say I have given my life over to technology, yes, everyone uses technology as tools, but that doesn’t mean your life is commanded by it. In fact, I wish more people would disconnect once every while, turn their attention to human relationships and enjoy real things instead of just documenting it for the digital realm.


How has raising a child altered your world view? What do you get up to in your own time?

What is this “own time” you’re speaking of ? Hahaha. It turns your life around, in a good way! I think your sense of time changes a bit, you look further ahead to the future, what will I be doing 10 years from now, 20 years ? It is not an easy adjustment from the relatively short cycles of weekly gigging, writing albums etc.  But yeah I am so proud of my little daughter, she learns new things every day, and brings so much joy in our lives.


Why do you think there has been a widespread shift from dubstep towards techno and house, including by yourself and the Hessle Audio guys? We ask because it is Pearson Sound who has invited you to play at March’s Acetate at Wire.

Well I think the techno/house world and the “UK hardcore influenced” world just found each other logically. Some of “us” were already heavily influenced by Detroit/Chicago music (like me, or 2562) and on the other side, DJs were on the lookout for exciting records to play, which I guess is how guys like Ricardo or Dettmann or Laurent Garnier started playing dubstep influenced music. The music scene definitely has become more homogenous in terms of tempo and style, but on the other hand, the amount of records you can now incorporate into your 4×4’esque sets is huge.


Your last record, Is This Insanity?, seemed to incorporate jungle elements, dubstep and techno. During the creative process, is it a conscious decision to create this mix? Or is it the product of something more organic? Do you listen to a lot of music when you produce?

That record is actually quite old, but was recently reissued. No, there’s never a conscious decision to combine certain elements, it just comes naturally in the studio while making the tune. Some songs are just done in a day, starting off with a rough idea and perfecting that. Others are ongoing projects that keep getting completely rewritten over and over until it becomes something I’m happy with. Sometimes a original sketch actually becomes two or three different tunes, over the countless versions I make of it.


As a Dutchman, what is it that attracted you to UK style music? What do you think is unique about UK parties?

Well, we’re not that far removed geographically, the early jungle and hardcore records didn’t take long to reach Dutch stores so we have always been heavily influenced by what was going on in England. Apart from Holland and Belgium, the first parties I went to were in England as well so I think I was struck by the hardcore virus early on. Obviously the party scene has changed quite a bit over the years but generally UK crowds are quite well informed and knowledgeable about specific tunes. This makes it fun to play for DJ’s. There’s also a lot of interaction between DJ and crowd, so as a DJ you feel really involved with the vibe of the night.



Can you recall any good times you have spent in Leeds over the years?

Yes, Leeds is great, I played a few times at The Wire, both on drum ‘n bass nights as well as “dubstep” ones. I also had the opportunity to experience the massive Sub Dub events and of course I know the Hessle guys who put out one of my early remixes.


Martyn returns this Friday 4th March 2016 for Acetate, and is joined by Shanti Celeste (Brstl/Idle Hands). Tickets are HERE and the full event page is HERE.


Oliver Walkden