Article by: Vassili Makavos
Staunch house music devotee, Justin Martin, recently taunted the release of his latest composition, “Hope.” A striking and undeniably groovy number that showcases the very best from this producer's eccentric collection, its arrival joins the house music scene after the NorCal veteran dropped his two previous singles, "Stay" featuring Dalilah, and his What To Do imprint's maiden record, "Needs."
Hope - when we hear that word we often think to ourselves along the lines of what would be uplifting or inspiring to the soul, as opposed to feeling fear, being scared and afraid of what reality is, and of course, the struggle not to give in to uncertainty. Upon listening to this brilliantly refined specimen of an house track, I quickly noticed and caught on to the ever so meticulously and poetically counter-scored play on the word hope itself.
The song does not have any lyrics; however Martin delicately samples a spoken text that obviously reveals the context of the word hope, even more so through the raw emotion and fear in the voice speaking the text. “I hope there’s tomorrow… cause I don’t like what’s going on in the world... and I’m scared of that…” 2020 has definitely left its nasty mark mentally, physically, and spiritually on all of humanity.
The timing for this track to come out when the US is in such a historical - and - dare I say biblical time (which I relate to from the 16 Bar C section near the end of the song with the siren presented after the restatement of the text from the Introduction; or, what I would argue are the trumpets sounding outta the Book of Revelation…), I immediately connect, feel, and relate to that hope she is speaking of. Because truthfully, I pray and hope there’s a good tomorrow for us all, because there’s a lot currently taking place in our world that scares me too. After I noticed the context of the word, the music revealed itself to me in a way that is both profound in craftsmanship, both in terms of musical and philosophical caliber, and yet, just as simple to enjoy as a smooth tune to haus to.
For example, take a listen to the introduction as the track begins. The construction of the introduction could be presented in the form of AA1. Where A=16 Bars & A1=16 Bars with a total Introduction of 32 Bars. The listener is first presented with the opening, A, A being the initial beats and progenitor of the melodic material to come in the rest of the track. Next is when we hear the text, and then melodic vocals that seem to almost howl in agony, being what makes the 1 in the A1 of the AA1 form; layering and development at its finest.
Another play I suspect maestro Martin philosophically took into account was the way he not only used a musical structure and build up as the song begins, but also paralleled the build up emotionally with the fear and intensity of the text presented in the second part of the intro (or the A1 of the AA1). The last portion she says “...pretty uptight…” and then BOOM! A pretty “uptight” full on house beat is in motion while a very crisp and crunchy bass line swerves in and out of a tastefully chromatized melody, thematically transformed from the initial melody at the start of the song as we are hooked into an unstoppable groove.
I honestly love how brilliant the take on the word "Hope" is for this song. It’s one thing to craft good music, it’s a completely and entirely another thing to parallel and philosophically craft a meaning to a word, while still maintaining its meaning. But the hope is not lost... I suppose that is part of the beauty and essence of hope, even in what may seem like the darkest of times, like being in a world pandemic, hope can still flourish and rise above the negativity to nourish the soul. Be sure to check out this pristine producer and most certainly check out this track. If Beethoven wrote the “Moonlight Sonata,” then Justin Martin wrote “Hope,” - the best way I can put it.
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