“These pieces aren’t melodies nurtured from the inside and then extracted, funnelling ethereal sentiment through the vessel of music,” wrote ATTN:Magazine of Mart Avi’s ‘Rogue Wave’ mini-album. “In fact, Mart Avi seems to work in reverse: plucking out shrapnel from the endless avalanche of human experience and clumping it together, manufacturing a strange, often brittle coherence from the assemblage of televisual gloss, bubbles of vaporwave, sudden pangs of estranged memory, radio leakage, automated labour and the innumerable incarnations of pop music.”
What ATTN:Magazine was trying to say was that Mart Avi sounds like Benjamin Clementine and a bag of loose change stuck in a washing machine on slow cycle, but in a marvellous way. His drawling, theatrical baritone is stretched and dragged through all manner of manipulated ambient future noise, jazz and easy listening to the point where you feel David Bowie would’ve been begging for a guest spot. ‘End Of An Era’ sounds like a very slow, kinky shag with an android Sade, ‘Give Me Counterculture’ could be a premonition of the first jazz night on Neptune, ‘Blind Wall’ is what Spandau Ballet will sound like when their storage-damaged brains are reanimated in 2254. One man’s shrapnel plucked from the endless avalanche of human experience is another man’s ludicrously pretentious and occasionally cheesy avant pop twaddle, of course, and Avi undoubtedly exists on the distant, undefined borders of modern pop. But it’s here that the new species are discovered, and Avi is still determinedly uncatalogued.