Inspired by the experimental ethos employed by acts like Sonic Youth, Miles Davis and Aphex Twin, Nick’s Las Mar project is free-wheeling in the finest way possible. Combining his virtuosic ability behind the drumkit with a penchant for experimental synthesiser sounds and his own heavenly vocals, Las Mar certainly proves Martyn’s prowess as both a player and producer, with recent single ‘Weekend Repair’ acting as a tantalising taste of what to expect from his new album later this year.
To find out more about the inspirations behind Las Mar, we linked up with Nick to run us through his ten favourite guitar sounds ever captured on record that aren’t just Jimi Hendrix – no shade to Jimi though, of course.
Captain Beefheart – ‘Moonlight on Vermont’
‘This guitar sound is a flavour explosion sharper than any crumbly cheddar. This whole album is a wonderland of magical guitar chaos (as well as another dozen or so types of chaos).’
Sepultura – ‘Roots Bloody Roots’
‘If you like awesome heavy guitar music then you’ve probably fallen in love with this band already. It’s in this list just in case.’
Rapeman – ‘Hated Chinee’
‘Just how on earth does Steve Albini get that feedback? It’s not like we haven’t all heard guitar feedback before just… Not quite like this. Plus, everything else about this song rules.’
Gang of Four – ‘Natural’s Not In It’
‘This shows Andy Gill at his finest but, really, so does anything from Gang of Four’s seminal album Entertainment. This song has a cutting, abrasive, oh-so-satisfying sound with such great rhythm work.’
Novos Baianos – ‘Acabou Chorare’
‘Great guitar work is not all about turning up to eleven. Novos Baianos are masters of that signature Brazilian lulling, magical vintage pop. Hold out for the awesome (what I think is a) 12-string guitar in the outro – so lush you’ll wish it never ended.’
New Gods – ‘Caravan Park’
‘An amazing and too-short lived band from my hometown (Melbourne, Australia) that delivered in Beloved, a timeless, incredible album. A tense song with a story of sadness and frustration with a guitar performance that provides the listener with a much needed catharsis.’
Howlin’ Wolf – ‘Backdoor Man’
‘This guitar immediately induces the phenomenon known to the world as stank face. Howlin’ Wolf is just unreal, I can’t tell if I like his guitar or voice more but it hardly matters.’
Bill Frisell – ‘Strange Meeting’
‘A great example of the beautiful and singular world of Bill Frisell. Equal parts Americana, jazz and film music from a guy who has played – and nailed – it all.’
Sonic Youth – ‘100%’
‘Hard to know what to pick from the seminal Moore/Ranaldo combo but this one does a good job of showcasing their fun, poppy side along with their obvious love of noisy, confronting guitar chaos.’
King Gizzard and The Wizard Lizard – ‘Rattlesnake’
‘Hello King Giz, kindly show us all what we’ve been missing by sticking to our twelve tone equal temperament tuning system with a rad riff or two and the most fun, headbanging groove ever. Sincerest of thanks, Nick Martyn.’
Las Mar’s new single ‘Weekend Repair’ is out now – stay tuned to hear more about his new album soon.