Watch Felix Martin and co. translate the Korean language into music
Guitarists are not exactly what you would call a rare breed, but even within this vast and teeming population, Felix Martin exists in a field of one. Playing with a self-developed two-handed tapping technique on self-designed, custom built twin neck guitars, Felix really is a singular talent.
Over the course of 2014 I was lucky enough to watch Felix play three times. His first foray over the Atlantic, for a tour and Tech Fest appearance, was slightly hamstrung by his drummer’s last minute inability to make the trip, forcing him and his bass compadre Kilian to perform to a backing track – but at Euroblast, we got the full band experience,nd it was glorious.
Now Felix has released a new video for the first track from an album that is part side-project, part thought experiment, and as intriguing as it is completely bananas. Under the title ‘The Human Transcription’, Felix has attempted to tease out the rhythms and melodies from human speech, in a variety of languages – and this first video is a collection of short passages in Korean.
The net result sits somewhere between Fantômas, Blotted Science and Frank Zappa, and is probably even crazier than that sounds on paper. In the world of The Human Transcription, time signatures are for the weak. Check out the counter in the top left corner of the video to see what I mean:
Glorious. But it does take a bit of getting used to. I’ve played it around half a dozen times, and it’s now starting to make sense. So stick with it, yeah?
I am reliably informed that Felix has a whole album of this stuff ready, with each track featuring a different language. It will be released as soon as possible, and I simply can’t wait to hear it. This has to be the most fascinating, thought-provoking idea I’ve encountered for some considerable time.
I appreciate that, for the completely uninitiated, this new video might be a bit….much. So, to ease in those of you who may be a bit dazed and confused, here’s a studio play through of my favourite track from Felix’s existing repertoire.