Martin Hannett - Maverick Producer, Genius and Musician

Catalogue Number: OZIT CD 9010 (2CD)
Release Date: 19 September 2011
Price £12

The man who set the template for the Manchester Sound. All tracks produced, engineered or performed by Martin Hannett. This 2CD set is issued twenty years since the sad departure of Martin Hannett, a biographical book and a film will follow.

"Rarely can there have been a man who so totally immersed himself in his own work and to such stunning effect" - International Musician Obituary.

Bono: "Martin Hannett was a genius… He looked like Dr. Who and he was into technology. He had harmonizers and things we had never heard of."

Martin Hannett was renowned as a teenager and beyond for his record collection (covering so many different genres of music) and his total dedication to buying Hi-Fi equipment when most homes around him were still managing with a radiogram or a Dansette record player. His initial tastes in music, judging by his record collection, seem strange - for someone who would go on to be the ‘creator of the definitive Manchester Sound’ – his collection included The Byrds, Bob Dylan, Simon and Garfunkel, Steely Dan, Tim Buckley, Love, Emmylou Harris and the Grateful Dead, whose bass player Phil Lesh Martin would model himself on.

Somehow Martin’s interest in those sharp-sounding sunshine West Coast acoustic and electric guitars metamorphosised into his fascination for electronic music from synthesizers and sampling. He talked about hearing beats within air conditioning units in factories when he worked for a while in industrial removals. The AMS1560 delay, built by former aerospace engineers in Burnley, which would be the basis for the Joy Division drum sound, was built to encapsulate sounds that Martin heard in his head.

The Marshall Time Modulator (nicknamed by bands who worked with Martin “The Marshall Time Waster”) and the AMS1560 Delay, together with the ARP Omni and Transcendent 2000 synths, initially followed by the ARP2600, became the staple studio control room toys for all of Hannett’s late 70s & early 80s. Martin was a true experimenter with sound, perhaps coming from his background obtaining a chemistry degree.

The bands and the studio toys and the acoustics of the buildings were the chemical ingredients and what he hoped was that mixing all these up would result in some great chemical reaction. Martin often talked only in conversations where he gave out cryptic clues, often using references you could only understand if you had watched the previous week’s episode of Doctor Who or read the last issue of Omni science fiction magazine. By 1978, the first sessions for Joy Division had been produced by Martin Hannett.

With this 2CD set we have gone back to the roots of Hannett getting involved with Joy Division. Many of the tracks on this set were produced a while before Martin became a director of the Factory and the house producer for the label and for the first time you can hear a collection of tracks in a different genre produced by Martin as well as tracks where both Martin Hannett the musician and Martin the producer/engineer comes to the forefront.

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Track Listing

Disc One
1. Martin and JCC - quick verbal quip
2. Office in a Bottle - Martin on vocals, synths along with John Hurst and Diane
3. Martin on synths, metronome, etc.
4. Martin on syndrums
5. Martin on synths, etc.
6. Bernard Sumner talks about Martin
7. Martin on Synths, etc.
8. Martin - strange piano mix
9. Martin on Synths, etc.
10. Martin plays bass
11. Chrysler - Belt and Braces
12. Benavila - Belt and Braces
13. Joe Smith - Belt and Braces
14. Derry - Belt and Braces
15. Trouble in A Major - Pete Farrow
16. Hold On - Pete Farrow
17. Sailaway - Pete Farrow
18. Maybe he’ll - Pete Farrow
19. Old Man’s song - Pete Farrow

Disc Two
1. Hooky talks about Martin
2. Manchester Boys - George Borowski
3. Who is Innocent - George Borowski
4. Dangerous City - George Borowski
5. Giant - Belt and Braces
6. Questions - Belt and Braces
7. Grapes - Belt and Braces
8. Money - Belt and Braces
9. Banks of The Dee - Belt and Braces
10. Chains - Belt and Braces

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