Founding member and director of Pound Records, Martin Martini, is a true believer. As a musician himself, he tests the boundaries between cabaret and dirty jazz and as a record producer he does the same. Self taught, Martini is a Renaissance man, able to weave his craft with a camera, a piano or vinyl.
‘Pound Records are a very underground label,’ says Martini on his record label. ‘And probably a stupid idea to even start something like that. I did no budgeting – I am a labourer by day and at night I turn into a producer. I started out as a songwriter. As a producer I know how to find the best in artists; the ones that are amazing don’t know how to organise anything!’
Martini established the house in the Melbourne suburb of Malvern. ‘It was originally a dairy shed and a coffin factory, and now it’s pretty much a house the council had shut down about a year ago I guess it’s kind of like a squat… the label started out of that house.
‘I made a recording about six or seven years ago on a crappy mic, and when we listened back I realised it didn’t sound like any other record: you can hear someone doing the dishes, people talking. I am sick of hearing overproduced music. This was interesting because you could hear the mistakes.’
The music has an underground integrity that doesn’t seek the mainstream spotlight. ‘I don’t know how the industry works and I don’t want to get involved in the industry,’ says Martini, ‘I just want to create it, and it is moving and getting there. I am creating these limited-edition vinyl – the last one I did for Archer (also appearing at Mullum Music Festival) and it cost a stupid amount of money!
‘I have an old camera and I take all the photos and we do all our own film clips so I guess you could say it’s a production company, but for artists that aren’t normal artists. It’s for people who are strange!’
‘I am trying to document what these guys are doing at the peak of their writing ability.’
Martini promises to bring his vinyl to Mullum Music Festival.
As far as his set goes Martini plans to settle in behind the piano and bang out some junk-box jazz and blues. Songs about petrol running out and Freud and fences and trains, moths and death.
As Eddie Perfect quipped: ‘Heartbreaking music made by heartbroken musicians!’
‘I am going to bring all the vinyl up. There should be three or four to sell – I am really big on everything, the design.
Martin Martini plays the Mullum Music Festival, featuring at the Village Vanguard at the Mullum Ex-Services. For tix and lineup information go to www.mullummusicfestival.com.