Few words in the dance-music world inspire as much delight as Dirtybird. The name carries weight as both the innovative label helmed by Detroit-raised dance royalty Claude VonStroke and as the traveling party series combining cutting-edge DJs with familial events like camp-outs and cookouts.
This year, the label is bringing one of its tastiest parties to Art Basel: the Dirtybird BBQ. The daytime merging of smoked meats and fat beats has a long and wonderful history in Miami. In 2012, during the BBQ's Winter Music Conference installation, the late Phife Dawg of A Tribe Called Quest crashed the stage for an impromptu set, which still ranks among VonStroke's favorite BBQ moments.
We caught up with the man himself to see what's in store for the inaugural Basel edition of the Dirtybird BBQ.
New Times: Dirtybird has always been a very forward-looking, progressive label on the edge of new sounds. What are we on the cusp of now? Have you heard any new stuff we'll all be listening to a year from now?
Claude VonStroke: I think the new music from Walker & Royce is the most inspiring right now for me. You haven't heard all of it yet, and I think they will absolutely explode next year. I'm also taking a left turn on the A&R right now. I've signed almost every booty-shaking record possible, and I want to hear something else from Dirtybird. Releases like the Pezzner record that just came out will become more frequent, and not everything will be so obvious.
This isn't the first time the BBQ has come to Miami, but the love is clearly mutual on both sides. How does Miami's BBQs compare to other cities'? Do you do anything differently when coming to Miami?
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In the past, we always had a classic rapper guest in Miami, but since we are separating out the hip-hop stuff on the new label, Stx and Brx, I want to keep Dirtybird parties more focused on house and techno now. The Miami BBQ is the longest-running outside of San Francisco, and we've had some of the best moments in the history of the record label down there. My most memorable moment was having the late Phife Dawg... come and perform.
A lot of people are very excited about you and Green Velvet's upcoming tour. He'll actually be performing at Trade on Saturday. Is it possible he'll stop by the BBQ for a preview of what's to come?
I think that's the perfect afterparty to the BBQ. I'm sure you will see some of us over there at Trade dancing around. Anything can happen.
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What's your go-to barbecue spread?
Beef ribs, cornbread, mac 'n' cheese, greens, and iced tea.
With Claude VonStroke, J. Phlip, Kill Frenzy, and others. 2:30 p.m. Saturday, December 3, at Smashed Canvas, 279 NW 28th St., Miami. Tickets cost $19.50 to $45 via eventbrite.com.