Martyn Bennett, Glen Lyon (A Song Cycle)

Colin Irwin

By Colin Irwin

on 04.22.11 in Reviews

Glen Lyon (A Song Cycle)

Martyn Bennett
The bagpipes-and-techno pioneer goes back to nature.

A thrilling musical innovator and genuine pioneer, the Newfoundland-born fiddle and bagpipe player Martyn Bennett was the first artist to blend Scots music with modern techno and dance beats with any real coherency. A fine fiddle and bagpipe player, as a teenager he immersed himself in the Edinburgh club scene and experimented with merging his two musical passions when he found himself competing with a beatbox while out busking. He subsequently married the two apparently hopelessly disconnected art forms — with amazing results. The tragedy is that, like many innovators, recognition eluded him and cancer struck weeks after a sensational appearance at the UK's Cambridge Folk Festival that seemed destined to launch his band into the big time. He died in 2005, aged 33, but left five groundbreaking albums, including this fascinating collection of samples of natural sounds and soundscapes around the Gaelic singing of his mother Margaret Bennett.