The late 60s / early 70s was a great period in musical history for the UK as Trojan Records, at that time used to come selling their releases door-to-door; Martyn’s love of world music, particularly reggae, funk and ska, began thus.
At the age of 9 Martyn moved to Wembley’s infamous Chalkhill Estate, here he was exposed to an even wider spectrum of music; reggae fused with jazz, jazz fused with Latin, Latin fused with rock, rock fused with soul, soul fused with reggae; you name it, it was played somewhere on the estate. Martyn discovered Elvis, The Beatles, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Dub, Reggae, Soul, Funk, Jazz, Latin and as much as he possibly could and loved it all. During his first music lesson at Neasden High School, he told the teacher all he wanted to do was play the guitar and the saxophone and later in life he did exactly that.
At 17 years of age, Martyn formed his first serious gigging band called The GTs and played a mix of new wave & ska. Martyn always wanted to form a psychedelic band a la Gong / Hawkwind / Amon Düül and when The GTs disbanded after about a year, he formed Nucleus. Nucleus played a string of rather bizarre gigs for the likes of No Nukes Music, Legalize Cannabis Campaign and various other weird and wonderful promoters… they never made any money at this and thus continued working at their day jobs. One of the more interesting projects was with Steve Chandrasonic Savale (Asian Dub Foundation) during the early 80’s called Fuliginous and Sweep. Most of the other bands Martyn played with during the 80s were not worthy of note.
By 1993 Martyn was an accomplished musician and able to play many instruments; saxophone, guitar, bass, flute were some of the instruments he played. Martyn played in Reading cover’s band Take it or Leave it (AKA The Skangsters). Take it or Leave it were basically a ska tribute band and started out playing predominantly Madness / Specials / Bad Manners songs, after a while they started to include original reggae material plus some more traditional reggae covers. In 1995 Martyn joined Scott Free as part of Pendulum (nothing to do with recent drum & bass Pendulum). Their first and only release on Cup of Tea records in 1997 was Creature Feature which (apparently) sold quite well in Eastern Europe & Japan, for some reason it was never released in the UK! Martyn had now discovered trip-hop and digital recording and was now looking for a way to fuse it all with world music.
Pendulum as it was then, suspended music production in about 1998 shortly after headlining the Kilbi Festival in Switzerland. Since 1998 Martyn has worked with a variety of music projects ranging from uninteresting covers bands to inspiring bands playing original material (Fat Habit, The Nice Up, Parisian Living, Jah Works Sound System, etc…). It was in such a band (Barflyz) where he met Amber McClean, together they wanted to make music which included more of the world music influences that inspired them… thus Solskala was born in 2007.
Throughout the past 10 years, Martyn has played on the fringes of the London Latin underground scene with a number of musical projects ranging from Salsa to Afro-Cuban. Martyn has played live across the globe as far away as Cuba and at some major European music festivals such as Womad (UK), Bestival (UK), Kilbi (Switzerland) to name but a few. He has played live with Nik Turner, Pama International (with members of Bentley Rhythm Ace, Pop Will Eat Itself, The Specials & Galliano), Bidgie Reef and the Gas (with the enigmatic Roger Winslet) and has appeared on BBC television.