Felix Martin has and will always be a unique trailblazer for progressive and world fusion music. This Berklee-trained virtuoso taps out Latin-inspired riffs and melodies across his custom multi-fretboard 15 and 16 string guitars to create challenging compositions and unique performances. Martin’s new self released record Mechanical Nations is out now, and showcases a storied blend of prog that the man himself was kind enough to trace for us. Check out five of the most influential records to Martin’s musical and technical development below.
Ensamble Gurrufio – Ay compa’e (Live)
This is probably my favorite world music group of all time. They play traditional Venezuelan music with a jazz and prog twist. This is all I listened to when I was learning guitar and tapping. I’ve been listening to them for about 15 years now. I remember asking at the music store if they have some “Progressive Venezuelan Folk Music” (it was a joke) but they actually got it and sold me this album. It was just what I was looking for.
Planet X – Live from Oz
This is the album that impacted me the most on my prog side. I’ve been listening to this album for about over 10 years and I still don’t get bored, and I discover new things about it all the time. I first listened to this record when I was about 13 years old, and it really opened my mind and inspired me to mix my rock/metal style with jazz and jazz fusion. Also make sure to check out their album Moonbabies—this was also influential to me.
Blotted Science – Machinations of Dementia
This album inspired me to write metal music. Before listening to this, I was a 100% prog guy (Dream Theater-ish, Planet X, etc) but after listening to this, I understood metal a little more, or how I would like to add metal to my music. Ron Jarzombek in general inspired me in my teens…he was the guitar god for me.
Marty Friedman – Music For Speeding
Marty was one of my favorite guitarists while in high school. What I like about the album the most are the melodies he plays with his really unique style of soloing/feeling, and the beautiful production/arrangements on the whole album. I love that Marty is still writing great music just like before, his latest album Inferno is as good as the ones from the past. I wish he would tour a little more so I could tour with him (haha).
Joe Satriani – Surfing with the Alien
Probably the very first guitar album I ever received/bought. The song “Always with Me Always with You” was the first guitar tune with solos that I learned. I got this album when I was 13, it was basically the only guitar album you could get at music stores where I was (and also Steve Vai, etc.) so I guess that’s one of the reasons why this album inspired so many people of my generation. This album didn’t inspire my written and guitar technique, but inspired me to pursue music as a career and learn my first steps on the electric guitar.
Felix Martin‘s new album Mechanical Nations is available now via iTunes, Amazon and his Martin’s official webstore. You can catch a sample of the record and get a glimpse of Martin’s signature guitar technique in the music video for “Flashback” below: