Martin Case

Each week Fresh On The Net invites an artist or band to answer a short series of questions in Prick & Ding: the two and a half minute interview. It's convenient and quick - like enjoying a tasty microwave meal!

Thanks so much to Tom for taking over Prick and Ding duties last week, the lad did great & that Old Tramp is some kind of wonderful.

So we are back with Prick n Ding #81 and the bright, cheeky sweet urban stylings of Martin Case. Time to ‘fess up’ – I’ve been working with Martin lately, teaching & nurturing kids in all things ‘music’ in sunny Jaywick, Essex. Martin has proved to be a great guy to know & work with, full of insightful opinions & disarmingly relaxed yet extra effective ways to get things done, blessed are the one’s who taste his comical asides & get to know this owner of a good heart.

So one rainy Thursday afternoon I find myself sitting in a car with Martin in downtown Jaywick that he has kindly decorated with a deep smog from his Silk Cut/Rothmans/B & H (man, you could have launched a Bonnie Tyler video on those fumes) and I’m getting dizzy. No, it wasn’t the fag smoke (he opened the door!) -it was the “have a listen to my latest tune Johnno” that threw me.

You will know me well enough now that I don’t deal in ‘jobs for the boys’. However the music makes its way to me – it has to ignite something in me and make me sit up and take notice or it ain’t coming through the door. Whether its name is on the guest list or not means jack s**t to me – that’s just how I roll.

Well I was instantly attracted to the unique scattergun ebb & flow of his melodies – and  the wonderful beats & music that sound like they have been cut and pasted back together 20, 000 leagues under the sea.

Martin’s music put’s me a little in mind of when Shy FX remixed Get Cape.Wear Cape.Fly or when Mr Hudson was good (when he had his Library with him). I say a little: the good parts ya get me? Cause the cut of his jig is of his own making, Saville Row goes East London. The music has splashes of ‘urban-ness’ sure but like where much of the best stuff lives, you will find it flourishing in the cracks in between, creating its own space.

So let us hear more of the man himself in his own words. Martin is an experienced and creative musician, writer, producer and facilitator, residing in the rural Hertfordshire countryside. He’s spent more than half of his life working with music & his experience as a guitarist has seen him play with a plethora of diverse artists and musicians over the years, at some iconic venues and festivals. With writing, performance and production credits on multiple releases from different artists, Martin’s reputation is growing as a diverse and creative collaborator.

His role as a community musician throughout London, Essex and Hertfordshire has proved to have a positive impact on the projects he works on, having a realistic and grounded approach, giving young people a chance to explore music in their own terms, on their level. Some of his most successful work in the recent years has been working with young offenders and helping integrate them back into the community, using music.

Now, Martin wants to really push his own material. He wants feedback and critique, guidance and exposure. His sound is always evolving. He won’t fit into any pigeon holes and he winces at the pure thought of the word generic. He is a bit old-school, but that’s just because he’s getting a bit old.

Ladies & gentlefolk, please give a warm Fresh On The Net welcome to Martin Case and Prick and Ding 81.

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1. What are you up to at the moment?
I’m always writing, jamming or collaborating. As well as writing my own material, I am working on a project with Cara Winter at the minute, which will hopefully be out this summer and I’m also collaborating on a track with London based rapper Grhymey. I am also eagerly awaiting the release of the new DJ Vadim album (Dubcatcher) out this June, as I am playing guitar on it and that’s a milestone in my own musical career. In between all of that, I work as a community musician and music workshop facilitator across London, Essex and Herts.

2. Favourite childhood memory?
I use to draw a lot. I took it very seriously! I also loved military planes so I remember going to a few air shows. I suppose this means I don’t have a particular favourite childhood memory, just random geeky ones…

3. Hero?
Err, I’m not sure… Probably the Caramel one.

4. Villain?
The Man.

5. What/who makes you laugh?
Keith Lemon, Karl Pilkington, Big Narstie, South Park and Peep Show… Awkward, controversial, honest, observational comedy.

6. Describe what you do?
I am a guitarist primarily, but love playing keys, bass and the odd bit of percussion. I love music production and programming instrumentation, as well as writing lyrics. I don’t have a strong singing voice and tend to prefer writing how I would actually speak. I love the rhythms created with words and love how words and meanings can alter depending on your accent and where you are from. I like word play and rhyming schemes that rappers use but really love cool harmony and vocal hooks. Songwriting is my biggest passion and I spend as much free time I have developing my sound. I write and collaborate with other artists from varied genres and I have several projects I am working on at any one time. I design and deliver music projects within the community, engaging with young people from challenging circumstances. This has always been a job I am passionate about. I am also a guitarist in London based session band collective, The Remedies and a member of electronic collective Hot Donkey.

7. Whose hair would you like to have for just one day?
Teen Wolf, 1985…

8. Best musical experience to date?
So many!
– Meeting and recording with Vadim last year
– Playing Ronnie Scotts with Jazz Bailey (who subsequently introduced me to Vadim)
– Playing Jazz Café with Slakah the Beatchild and the Remedies
–  Playing Glastonbury 2011 with J-Treole, because that was a band I was proud to be in with my mates and we got there on our own merit. It was also the last run of gigs before we broke up a month later. Bitter, sweet.

9. What artist inspires you?
All artists inspire me. I always want to be around creative people and I’m lucky to have talented and inspirational friends around me. I couldn’t possibly pick one or even a few. It really is a varied eclectic list!!

10. What does Fresh On The Net mean to you?
It means that somebody has listened to my music and that others will hopefully come and listen, share and download my stuff. That gives me a great buzz. I love checking out new music and seeing who’s doing what. I don’t ever perform as a solo artist, I have only ever played guitar for other people, which I love to do, but I lose focus on my own vibe. Saying that, there have been lots of artists I have worked with who have influenced my music, so it’s all relative to what I do in the long run.

This is me and my vibe, here is my music.

Johnno Casson

Johnno Casson is a London-born/Colchester-based singer, musician, songwriter and show-off. He also compiles and releases compilations and is a serial supporter of new music. Johnno releases his own music as Snippet ,Old Tramp and also under his own name Johnno Casson.. As far as we know he was the most-played artist ever on Tom's legendary late night Fresh On The Net radio shows on 6 Music - having been featured no less than 18 times and appearing as an interview guest. You can also find Johnno on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube...


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