Martyn has spent the last 25 years making electronic music, but the Dutch artist still remembers his earliest days keenly. “I started in drum & bass but Eindhoven is a small place, so anyone making music — whether it was drum & bass, hip-hop, acid — was hanging out in the same places, so I could see how they developed their sound,” Martyn tells us, from his sunlit studio in Washington DC. Back then, there was no formal support structure for learning about these new sounds. He just shared a house with a few curious friends. “Our house became a hub: we had two Technics and a small studio, so we taught each other how to DJ and produce,” he remembers. “There was no internet. There were no magazines that talked specifically about the music we wanted to make. It was trial and error. We learned as we went along.”
Through this free-flowing, self-taught approach, Martyn’s work took off. He’s been DJing since 1995 and releasing solo music since the mid ’00s. In 2007, he co-founded the 3024 label with visual artist Jeroen Erosie, releasing his own records, as well as tunes by artists like Leon Vynehall, Trevino and Jacques Greene. In any given year, he’s a busy man.
Recently, though, he’s been thinking back to those days in Eindhoven. Despite all of the collaborative fun, he realised that he didn’t have someone to guide him. “I noticed, years later, when I was more experienced, that I had massive gaps in my knowledge about how to use things [like hardware], because I never bothered to find out,” he says. “I didn’t care. For me, it was much more important that a tool just did what I wanted it to do.”
After the cancellation of a tour last February due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Martyn decided to use his downtime to become a mentor, and launched his Artist Mentoring Program through Patreon. The programme has four tiers, spanning one-on-one lessons to group sessions. Although Martyn is the only official mentor, established artists like Luke Slater and dBridge join in on monthly Deeper Dives, with Martyn hosting Q&As.