Martin Rebelski is a multi-instrumentalist musician, session player, solo artist, collaborator and soundtrack composer. And he is the man behind Cadenza’s current single release, ‘The Rift Valley’, a track that has featured heavily in the DJ sets of Luciano and other Cadenza personnel for well over a year now. The Cadenza release is backed up by remixes from Lee Van Dowski and Luciano, and Rebelski’s Original Mix is currently sitting at the number 1 spot of Beatport’s Chill Out sales chart.

With a very interesting history, working with Mancunian artists Doves and Badly Drawn Boy, as well as composing soundtracks for the BBC television network, Cadenza’s Nick Harris caught up with Rebelski for a quick chat to find out a little bit more about his music, and how he came about to work with Luciano and the Cadenza crew…

Hi Martin, how are you? What have you been up to these last few months?

Hey, all good thanks. I’ve been keeping busy being creative and probably writing more music than I’ve ever written – my own bits and collaborations with all sorts of people, including a few Cadenza artists.

So tell us a little bit about your involvement with Doves? What was your introduction to the band? Are you still working with them?

A good friend of mine worked at Robs Records in Manchester (who SubSub/Doves were signed too). Doves were recording Lost Souls at the time and needed a keyboard player to work with, he recommended me.

Doves are on hiatus at the moment but everyone has been working on various projects, some together and some separately.

And you’ve also worked with Badly Drawn Boy as well, yes? You seem to have an affiliation with Manchester artists, were you on the ‘Madchester’ scene at all, did you go to the Hacienda?

I played on a couple of tracks from his first album. Everyone knows everyone else on the Manchester music scene and most bands/artists get to know each other and support each other on tour and so on, which was great when I lived up there.

I did go to the Hacienda a few times when I was very young. I was a bit late to go though, not in it’s heyday.

Tell us a little about your soundtrack work? Do you approach this kind of music creation in the same way to more song based creation?

When I’m writing for myself there are no restrictions on where I go creatively. Soundtrack work is a bit of a different discipline, as you have to be able to write music incredibly fast to meet deadlines and the briefs can be quite specific. Really interesting and unusual pieces of music can be come out of this though, especially when your composing for 20 hours straight to meet a deadline!......It’s so much fun to do both and mix it up.

So how did you cross paths with Luciano?

It was through Lee Van Dowski, he had heard my music and passed it to Luciano. One day I got a great phone call from Luciano asking me to work with him and Cadenza. Always a pleasure to get calls like that from artists you respect.

Tell us a little bit about ‘The Rift Valley’? It’s definitely a piece that has built up almost mythical status, with many plays in Ibiza and around the World in Luciano’s DJ sets…

Composing ‘The Rift Valley’ was a crazy time for me, very long days working on many things simultaneously. I was scoring a soundtrack for the BBC and also rehearsing with Doves and the London Bulgarian Choir for the electric proms. Music was flowing out of me and I think working with the choir was a big inspiration for ‘The Rift Valley’.

Mythical status! Hehe, well if that’s the case it’s all down to Luciano playing it out for so long, which has been incredible and also amazing to witness first hand in Ibiza. It’s a special feeling to walk into a club and 7,000 people are dancing to your track.

How do you see the connections between your multi-instrumental work and the electronic dance scene? It’s certainly an interesting pairing, you and Luciano, has it been a natural thing to cross over into the electronic genre?

I actually started my musical path at the age of 14 listening to Italian house and techno and trying to recreate those classic piano riffs on a keyboard. As a keyboard player that’s where I naturally went for inspiration, so electronic music is definitely my roots. It wasn’t till much later that I expanded to soundtracks and a more organic path. I love all genres of music but electronic music holds a special place for me,

It’s really easy to work with Luciano and a lot of fun. He is really natural and intuitive when it comes to rhythm and percussion and I’m really into melody and harmony, so it gels really well.

What are your future plans? Any more singles, an album perhaps? And a live show maybe?

I’m working on my album and have a single coming out later this year on a new London label called Invisible Thread.

Yes I’m having fun putting in place my DJ/live sets, as there are some things in the pipeline, so hopefully that’ll happen soon. The last time I played was actually with Luciano at Ushuaia and I do miss it, especially after being in the studio for such a long time. I’m rocking a mean studio tan - practically translucent!

Rebelski - The Rift Valley (feat. remixes by Luciano & Lee Van Dowski) is out now on 12" vinyl and digital download

Rebelski talks to Cadenza