AVON — Although electronic dance music — EDM — is increasingly becoming a more popular genre in Colorado and the rest of the country, not every artist creates original music. But MartyParty is not your average artist. He also makes it clear that he is not a DJ so don’t be surprised when you don’t see headphones.
Born and raised in Africa and currently living in Miami, Martin Folb, a.k.a. MartyParty, is known for his original, diverse sound that always tells a story.
“I’ve always been obsessed with progressive musical arrangement,” Folb said. “I’ve always tried to invent new progressions, new algorithms and new patterns and tried to develop the songs musically from the basic chord through the progression, with evolving layers of melody and harmony. It’s just my thing. I get bored with looping beats; I like the song to have a musical evolution, with an intro, body, chorus and outro.”
In addition to living in Africa and Miami, Folb has also spent time in San Francisco and Costa Rica which spurred a great deal of his musical inspiration.
“I definitely have a beat foundation in African rhythm and in San Francisco I learned about house music and hip-hop,” he said. “In Costa Rica I was inspired by the tropical weather and had time to learn the craft. Miami is currently a hip-hop hotbed and I’m spending a lot of time with rappers and other hip-hop producers learning the art of the hip-hop beat. All these places have inspired the sounds you hear in my catalog.”
Spinning a tale
Because telling a story through his music is such an important aspect of his craft, Folb makes sure that his sets are designed to be enjoyed by any type of audience.
“My sets are always a rich and operatic exploration through my catalog and always go down well to any crowd — big or small, young and old,” he said. “My performance style is very captivating and I mix four channels with filters which delivers a very unique and captivating experience. People are fascinated with the sonic storytelling.”
He went on to explain that what sets him apart from other EDM artists is the fact that “nobody has really caught up or emulated [his] setup so [he] just keeps adding new songs, new acapellas and new one-shot effects to the template so the sets stay fresh over time.”
Another aspect of Folb’s versatility is his background in and knack for computers — a talent that earned him an early college graduation. A self-proclaimed “total nerd,” he brings a “deep understanding of technology — especially software engineering and development practice,” which means he’s well-versed in managing projects, files, patterns and templates.
“I learned music production using these software engineering principles and therefore it comes very naturally to me,” he said. “It’s all about mathematical iteration and pattern logic, and obviously there is musicality and originality which probably comes from my mother. I have been listening to all types of music since the 80s so I have a wide range of ideas and have heard most chord progressions and scales, beats and syncopations, making my knowledge of what works very keen and experienced. You just learn what sounds right.”
Technology to Hendrix
At age 23 Folb was recruited into Silicon Valley where he split his time between corporate suits and DJ outfits. He was able to connect his technology ideas with his music ideas and eventually left the corporate world to pursue music full-time.
While his genre is EDM, Folb credits Jimi Hendrix as one of his most significant influences. When asked what about the guitar god grabbed his attention Folb said, “His flare, his stage presence (a lot of fans and artists have lost the ‘show biz’ side of performance in the EDM age), and his experimentation and invention on the guitar with the scales and technique. I’m a huge fan and his music made me want to be a musician.”
Although MartyParty has performed in Avon in the past, he has never played at Agave and he said he is looking forward to experiencing the new venue on Friday night.
“I love me some Colorado mountain towns,” he said, “so let’s go.”