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Martyn Bennett Audio CD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
Price: £8.09 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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There have been few more thrilling sounds in the last decade than Martyn Bennett flattening the usual barriers of time, culture and genre that imprison music in boxes. There have certainly been fewer images more compelling than Martyn Bennett on stage, hair flailing in all directions, playing a traditional tune on bagpipes or fiddle while a thunderous sound system pounded out beats and samples ... Read more in Amazon's Martyn Bennett Store

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Frequently Bought Together

Grit + Bothy Culture + Aye - The Best Of Martyn Bennett
Price For All Three: £31.41

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Product details

  • Audio CD (19 May 2014)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Real World
  • ASIN: B00J60HVFM
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,093 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
Listen  1. MoveMartyn Bennett 4:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. BlackbirdMartyn Bennett 6:14£0.79  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. ChanterMartyn Bennett 4:12£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Nae RegretsMartyn Bennett 3:52£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. LiberationMartyn Bennett 4:31£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. WhyMartyn Bennett 4:32£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Ale HouseMartyn Bennett 4:01£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. WeddingMartyn Bennett 5:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. RantMartyn Bennett 4:36£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. StorytellerMartyn Bennett 9:43£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Sky Blue (Martyn Bennett Remix)Peter Gabriel 5:22£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Mackay's MemoirsMartyn Bennett14:19Album Only

Product Description

Grit was originally released on 13th October 2003. Tragically Martyn Bennett died on 30th January 2005. During his short but extraordinary career, Martyn was simply one of the most exciting, daring and innovative musicians working in Scotland. A world-class fiddler and bagpiper, Martyn started to experiment with electronic music and pioneered the rare marriage of the folk and modern dance cultures. Following four exceptional albums, Grit was Martyn's most extraordinary and challenging album, flattening the usual barriers of time, culture and genre that imprison music in boxes. There have certainly been fewer images more compelling than Martyn Bennett on stage, hair flailing in all directions, playing a traditional tune on bagpipes or fiddle while a thunderous sound system pounded out beats and samples behind him. His Bothy Culture album is rightly regarded as a landmark meeting of traditional Scottish and electronic music and subsequent albums, the explosive Hardland and the innovative Glen Lyon - featuring the Gaelic singing of his mother Margaret Bennett - pushed the envelope further, albeit in different directions. Bennett's most extraordinary work, however, was yet to come. He had been through hell and high water putting together his final project Grit, an astonishing, deeply emotional collection of traditional singers - largely travellers - showcased via an inventive avalanche of sounds and beats. It's simultaneously rooted in the passionate purity of the past while glorying in modern dance culture. It's a risky and dangerous balance, but far from being swamped by the swathes of electronica, it's the amazing voices of the traditional singers like Jeannie Robertson, her daughter Lizzie Higgins and the Gaelic singer Flora McNeil that ultimately dominate the attention. These were the singers Martyn Bennett was raised on and for him Grit was a deeply personal and painful album. He battled with cancer of the lymphomes throughout the making of it, undergoing extensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy and even a bone marrow transplant. Unable to play himself, Grit was his sole artistic outlet, albeit an incredibly difficult one. The re-release of the album co-incides with the opening of "Grit -The Martyn Bennett Story" at Glasgow's Tramway One (30 May - 7th June). This is an ambitious new cross-form, Scots-Canadian theatrical production directed by multi-award winning director Cora Bissett (Olivier award winning RoadKill, Creative Scotland award winning Whatever Gets You Through The Night and bold new political musical Glasgow Girls) and written by Kieran Hurley (Beats/Chalk Farm/Rantin) one of Scotland's most exciting, politically urgent voices. Reflecting Martyn's own Scots-Canadian heritage, "Grit - The Martyn Bennett Story" will be an exciting international collaboration with Canada's renowned choreographer Dana Gringas and some of Canada's finest circus artists who will both work alongside an ensemble of Scotland's dance and aerial artists, actors, live folk singers, and classical musicians, whilst of course featuring Martyn's groundbreaking dance music in its original form.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A magnificent farewell 2 Mar 2005
Format:Audio CD
Knowing the background to this album - that here was a very gifted musician who knew that he was dying (tragically young), and who wished to put together one final creation which would sum up his life, a statement of who he was, where he came from, and what he stood for and believed in - I found listening to it a very moving experience. Lie easy, Martyn - you've succeeded magnificently.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Much more than celtic or simple fusion 25 Oct 2005
Format:Audio CD
It was unfortunately only after Martyn's death that I was introduced to his music. The album Grit is an extremely impressive statement of both his roots, but also of defiance in the face of the illness which cast a shadow over the last years of his life. This fight was protracted and even drove him to destroy many of his instruments in frustration at his helplessness at it's onset at one stage.
The album is full of inventiveness which, even if you extracted the Scottish songs would find a place as contemporary music to discover and enjoy. The combination is a triumph of adventurous sounds and demonstrates a skill in managing the content which far surpasses similar offerings.
It varies smoothly between the soulful and introverted, through to the raucous 'Chanter' which would not be out of place in clubs around the UK. Stand out track for me is 'Why': so terribly apt as this is the question many will ask upon hearing how talented this young man was. Take a chance on this album, it'll be worth it.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Forget celtic moods - Turn Up The Volume! 1 Nov 2003
Format:Audio CD
I found Grit in the folk section of HMV and after listing for the first time I wondered why anyone would casually term this album as folk. After the fifth listen I wondered how you classify this album. Celtic is the best I can come up with. But if you think Celtic music is the equivalent of the dolphin cry then you're in for a shock. Grit takes the traditional sounds of Scotland and adds a fire and passion that I have never heard in such a recording.
How best can I describe the sound of Grit? Take an early traditional recording, add the sonic landscape of bjork, turn up the volume and press play.
There are standout points all through this album. If I had to choose a track then it would have to be 'Ale House' for the simple reason that I can't help but grin and dance whenever it's on. In a nut shell this recording is nothing short of a landmark. Celtic music once lost its grit; Martyn Bennett went out and found it again.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brazen and spirited... 12 Aug 2009
Format:Audio CD
"Grit" was my introduction proper to the music of Martyn Bennett, and this after learning of his tragic untimely death. This album is a passionate statement, a lust for life, it is wildly inventive, playful and irreverent yet rooted in a deep respect for the traditional music of Scotland, and I am thinking something of a self-portrait of a very talented musician, cramming important pieces of his world into a kaleidoscopic 50-odd minute fantasy.

I agree with the apt description here on Amazon likening his style to Bjork, I hadn't thought of that before reading the review but it's so true, and somehow explains a part of the appeal to me. Sweeping strings, intoxicating beats, panoramic spaces, and a bedrock of these fantastic traditional songs. And the song samples, though sometimes scrambled out of shape as if reflected in those bendy fairground mirrors, really are at the heart of things, which is perhaps unusual in the techno scene. So there's all this contemporary language scrawled across age-old songs, and yet I am in no doubt that Martyn was full of respect for the tradition and knew that the songs themselves will outlive his mischief. I believe he said that he enjoyed performing the traditional music straight more than anything. But he was possessed of a cheeky elfish nature and the talent to make these big bold bright statements, so something unusual was bound to come of it.

"Grit" is a world away from the main streams of contemporary Celtic folk-crossover (the limp new-agey variety or the plodding anthemic folk-rock), it has a refreshing vitality and bite, it is brazen and spirited, and it will either put a big smile on your face or have you seething! I've got a smile!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Grit' apt title 24 April 2005
By Muso
Format:Audio CD
Martin was one of these inventive people who takes traditional music by the scruff of the neck and enhances it with a modern slant. He can be described as the Scottish 'Moby'. He will be sorely missed. This album was made during Martin's fight with cancer and the title is so apt.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grit 17 Feb 2005
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
After a few listening i got right into this album.Then let a few friends listen (who got hooked)Having heard Martyn Bennet before i was fasinated at how this guys mind works.I have reached a conclusion that i will never know.He is so talented and ground breaking.The "chanter" is my fav,,,, listen and be mesmorised.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Shivers down the spine! 31 July 2008
Format:Audio CD
Professional folk musicians keep saying that the album is so interesting because of the mixture of styles the album is presenting with as well as the new territory Martyn has entered. That is all true, and the album also is also very danceable, that is if you like a little bit of variation and improvisation in your movements.

But for me music, as with any art, is in the first place about what it tells me: As far as I am concerned this album is BURSTING with passion and the subtitle of GRIT could easily be: "Martyn's last second alive". I only occasionally dear to listen to this album, but when I do it is always inspiring!
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