Musician and singer, Martinique “Matinino” Du Toit, has been playing piano since the age of 5 and began composing her own work when she was 10. She was trained in classical music, both on piano and vocals, which adds a distinctly educated element to her very alternative sound. While being involved in several collaborative musical endeavours, including Croak, a four-piece multi-genre band, she is soon to be releasing her debut solo album, ‘Matinino’.
The making of ‘Matinino’ originally stemmed from Martinique’s anxiety and her attempts to sooth herself through music. The album’s sound is highly unusual, incorporating elements of classical, ambient and theatrical and rolling them into one. The project as a whole consists of delicate, floaty ballads interspersed with dramatic, electronically-driven tracks, making for some very unusual contrasts.
She is highly skilled vocally, ranging from floaty falsettos to ringing lower keys throughout the album. The tinkling ballads, dominated by higher vocals and pattering piano, hold strong elements of Enya’s work. These are the softer, gentler moments of the album, dominated by breathy lyrics and slow-rolling, tinkling symphonies. True to its multi-genred label, “Matinino” is layered with folk and medieval-esque moments, offset here and there by electronic intrusions.
Tracks such as ‘Invite Me In’ and ‘Give Me Peace’ begin to bring out a stronger side to the album, peppered with dramatic synths and piano riffs. Things get even stranger in the circus-soundtrack of a song, ‘Some Bones and a Kettle’. This eerie sound of this track is only enhanced by heavy percussion, wild piano progressions and cacophonic background sounds. There are some strong elements of the bizarre in here, offset now and then by random interjections of ethereal harmonies.
‘The Clones We Own’ further demonstrates Martinique’s versatility as a musician. The misleadingly delicate piano intro quickly gives over to a much more dramatic sound, peaking and dropping with dubstep like electronic intrusions and theatrical fades.
In the place of her trademark piano, ‘Wooden Horses’ incorporates classical guitar as the baseline of the song and random additions of the musical saw – fully encompassing the thespian side of Martinique’s music.
The lyrics are mature and poetic, touching on a lot of Martinique’s personal experiences. The tracks can tend to drag on a little, growing tedious with over-repetitive riffs and choruses. But the monotony of the album is compensated for with the incredibly unique sound Matinino has produced.
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Listen to “Matinino” on Bandcamp.