By Jacob Katel
By Laurie Charles
By Nate "Igor" Smith
By Abel Folgar
By Kat Bein
By Jacob Katel
Though an official label for only three years, dirtybird records and its quad crew of freq-y producer/DJs are no fledglings. San Francisco-based Claude VonStroke, Justin Martin, Christian Martin, and Worthy have been flapping their wings since around 2000. They first built a Yay Area reputation pushing air as support DJs for local minimal techno/avant-house promoters, and then kicked off the collective's own free Sunday summer parties in Golden Gate Park more than four years ago. Using these parties to hone tone-tweaked muscle memory, dirtybird records launched in 2005 with VonStroke's 11,000-selling, internationally caned debut single "Deep Throat," and the db party crew has been ruffling tech-funk's tailfeathers ever since.
VonStroke and Martin remixes have made their way onto releases from The Rapture to Marshall Jefferson, Samim to Newcleus, even ponging across "Warrior" by Andy Caldwell of Om Records, another San Francisco label adapting well to millennial clubbing's oddio shifts. But dirtybird still believed there needed to be more than super-rockin' ADD house thrown relentlessly at the crowd. So the four brought in influences of rinsin' drum 'n' bass, viscous Midwestern motorik, and sweat-beaded East Coast garage, folded in some sun-baked West Coast freakiness, and amalgamated a signature sound with several personalities. With VonStroke representing the spectrum's gurning end, and Justin Martin bringin' the swingin', dirtybird finds its middle ground in the cheeky low end.
"Big bass feels good when it's loud," says Justin Martin. "You not only hear it, but also feel it. That may be cheesy, but there's always a good reaction to a good bass drop, whether it's a nastier style like Claude's or deeper like mine."