The sophomore effort by Dutch producer Martyn isn’t anything like Great Lengths, in subject matter or content at least. The debut was an insular, deeply personal record. It tapped into the half-step aura pervading the electronic music scene at that moment, taking aspects from it and other genres to create a refined record that was looking ahead into the future. For Ghost People, Martyn’s looking into the past, specifically at the ground roots aspect of being a DJ, sharing and playing music that people loved without the added baggage of trendiness or popularity. The title itself has it’s roots in Martyn’s incessant touring over the last few years, and what the producer alludes to as people who had ‘less interest in the music and the art side of DJ'ing/producing and more in the so called DJ lifestyle’.

Back to basics, then. Much of the album pre-occupies itself around a four-to-the-floor tempo, but tracks contrast abruptly and sharply, none more so than in the opening segments. ‘Love And Machines’ is a digital dream, the cosmos-inspired poetry of the Spaceape breathing over a robotic, sprawling atmosphere. Martyn then dives straight into the nasty, industrialised ‘Viper’, and it’s here that the progressive layers and textures that the producer is known for make themselves apparent. ‘Masks’ is solid and rugged in it’s approach and is heading straight for the dance floor with a beat that becomes more infectious the more it’s listened to. With the likes of ‘Popgun’ and ‘Ghost People’, Martyn taps into an off-centre 4x4 tempo that has more to do with the roots of contemporary producers than the old school. Dancefloor killers such as ‘Horror Vacui’ aren’t in short supply either; Martyn achieving with a subtle shift what many producers can’t with the largest of (distasteful) drops.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that Ghost People has found it’s way to Brainfeeder. Martyn and Flying Lotus have a long and rich history together, remixing each other’s tracks and supporting each other on tour (Martyn’s doing just that for Flylo’s Roundhouse gig). The embedded, occasionally wild experimentalism of Brainfeeder seems an apt place to release the progressive machinations and contrasts that Ghost People exacerbates.

The album doesn’t scream anything out in particular fashion, nor does it have something to prove. As a result it feels effortless in it’s composition, a seamless journey through a range of contrasts and dynamics, while never losing sight of the subtle themes that it does represent. Nothing is brash or abrasive here, rewarding patience and immersion. The textures are layered extensively, taking you on a slightly different path with each listen. It’s hypnotic and open-ended – traits personified by the epic ‘We Are You In The Future’.

Ghost People encapsulates the transcending nature of its producer. It seems detached from its contemporaries, on a metaphorical higher plain that isn’t concerned with the current here and now. That will mean different things to different people, but it doesn’t change the fact that Martyn’s a producer in the moment, and Ghost People is a representation of dance music at it’s most transparent and contagious.