Originally released in 1995, ‘Mystery Seas (Letters Written #2)’ sees MARTYN BATES exploring further the seeds of ideas contained within his first solo work of some thirteen years earlier, the legendary ‘Letters Written’ collection. Comprising songs composed during that period (circa 1982) together with brand new songs in the idiom, this collection of highly personal ‘letters’ -organ based songs and performances – is entitled ‘MYSTERY SEAS (LETTERS WRITTEN #2)’.
Haunted, richly melodic, and lyrical these new recordings are most emphatically SONGS, and as such they veer away from the more ‘experimenlal’ areas in which Martyn has been known for working. Recorded at AMBIVALENT SCALE in 1995 (by EYELESS IN GAZA’s PETER BECKER), this music is drenched in the myriad resonances of FOLK, whilst simultaneouslv circumnavigating any rigid and limiting definition (FOLK = the ‘folk soul’, the ‘collective unconscious’). With voice/ lyrics lo the fore, and with a (for the most part) skeletal, simplistic instrumentation, MYSTERY SEAS evokes a music of creaking ships, echoes, of distant sea-shanty, light thru’ broken stained glass windows, blighted misfortune, morning light, searching glances, of each story running thru them, of salt water, clear rhyme and reason, of each mask, of a night sky – tall wall of no more, of floods of thought / unsettling fetters, of tears or words seeming to rip the surface alerting and dumbfounding at one and the same time, songs of a beautiful secret to own… MYSTERY SEAS (LETTERS WRITTEN #2) is released on Hand/Eye via A-Scale.