How do you imprint a drum machine with your own personality? Martin Rev, one half of the groundbreaking NYC synth duo Suicide, knows the secret. From the very first few seconds of the instrumentalist’s 1980 self-titled solo debut, you know it’s him — that slightly sinister Rhythm Ace snap-hiss is as distinctive as a Jimmy Page guitar riff.
Martin Rev, reissued this year on vinyl by Superior Viaduct, sounds as fresh and feisty as the day it was made, a perfect complement to Suicide’s epochal recordings. The hypnotic “Temptation,” with a childlike glockenspiel competing for attention against a malevolent swirl of analog synth noise, is a masterpiece of mood, and the beautifully droning “Asia” casts a darkly cinematic spell. Suicide might be known for the tortured psychodramas of singer Alan Vega, but Rev is a canny melodicist, perhaps best shown by the sunkissed opener, “Mari.” Who says you can’t surf on the no wave? words/ t wilcox
MP3: Martin Rev :: Mari