See Me Ridin'
Martin Revs fourth solo album See Me Ridin was released on the New York label Reachout International Records (ROIR) in 1996. Received by the critics with amazement, it proved to be a watershed moment in his career. Signs of Martin Revs formative influence as an electronic music pioneer can be seen in many places. Virtually no one would have expected him to deliver a doo-wop album, but in the light of Revs socialisation and artistic tradition, it reflects a logical process of absolute reduction. Martin Rev crafted See Me Ridin as a kind of power pop hybrid, an album which owed much to the R&B and doo-wop of the 1950s and 1960s; the music which a youthful Martin Rev heard on the streets of New York, the soundtrack to his teenage years which had such an intense effect on him and would resurface in his own works. Nowhere more so than here. The instrumental foundations of these 16 tracks are built on rudimentarily sketched melodic arches, outlines rather than fully defined structures, yet all the more forceful for that. As if the full potency of an R&B band has been distilled into minimalist keyboard compositions. Martin Revs vocals are as minimal as they are sentimental, wonderfully poetic like a latter-day Chet Baker perhaps, or Jonathan Richman. This solo album not only blindsided Revs critics and fans alike, but also painted a personal, nostalgic portrait of his home, New York; fading out the noise and contradictions of the city to channel the romantic energy of the metropolis.