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Flying High – 5 years of dirtybird -Annie Buckle

Re-post from The Fabric London Blog

 

dirtybird five year

If your dancefloor fetish is mind-bending sounds, catchy hooks and full on booty-full house music, then the latest news of Claude Von Stroke’s ’5 Years of dirtybird’ compilation (out this month) should have you dancing like a monkey on a hotplate. Laying down a triple CD pack of greatest hits, a special Justin Martin mix and beats from the hotly tipped, newly signed dirtybirds; it’s the kind of cut that we thought deserved some words from the dirtybird family themselves. Speaking openly about the spirit of dirtybird and its history, the boys and gal from San Francisco spill the dirt on making wonderfully quirky samples, the newbies on the imprint – and they tell us that if you want to be a dirtybird, you have to be raised in the zoo…

dirtybird crew picture

CLAUDE VONSTROKE

claude vonstroke

Your 5 year release is a brilliant concept looking into the past, present and future of dirtybird. The label really puts a stamp on all their releases – why is this such an important part of your sound?
I guess it is serendipity how things happen. Justin Martin had just finished making the “Sad Piano,” which was going to be dirtybird #001. It was a moody house affair with a beautiful piano riff. I loved the track and apparently so did everyone else because we got an email from Ben Watt saying he had a CD given to him in Miami of the track and HE wanted to sign it. Justin and I are friends before business so I thought it would be much better for him to sign the track to Ben Watt’s label for his career. So instead of that melancholy house tune we got Justin’s NEXT single to be dirtybird #001. This one he made with Sammy D (the USA Sammy) and it was quite the opposite of the Sad Piano. It was a super weird bass track with fart noises, animal sounds and even a totally bonkers hillbilly rap in the middle. The track was called “The Southern Draw” and it got us in with a popular underground distributor in Germany. It’s funny how fate shaped the image of the label from day one. dirtybird never looked back from this wild and crazy ethos and I feel like maybe it would have been a totally different label if the “Sad Piano” had been the first hit release. Maybe everyone would have been trying to make moody melodic house instead of insane.

With Disc Three of the compilation in mind…who are the future dirtybirds to be aware of?
Disc three is how I like to do business. I like to sign tracks that work for me that I’ve tested in the club. I do not care where they come from, I just care what they sound like. A lot of people send in demos and believe it or not I would say 25% of the tracks on Disc 3 are from demos and 75% from people I know from dirtybird in the past. I listen to every single demo that comes in and I am always listening on the road for new talent. So when you send in your demo to us it gets heard. Believe it.

SASCHA BRAEMER
I am totally feeling this guy’s work. He is kind of a label hopper, which is not my favorite thing but the music is so hot I can’t deny it. I can’t say I found Sascha from nowhere, he already has quite an extensive list of originals and he is one half of Heinrichs and Hirtenfellner, who had an amazing album on Highgrade last year. You will be hearing more from Sascha this year for sure on dirtybird…

J PHLIP
This is my homegirl from Chicago. She moved to SF and got a spot in the dirtybird crew right away (which is not so easy, as we’ve had the same 4 people for 7 years!). She plays ghetto style house and I think she has a really bright future on dirtybird. I convinced her to move to Berlin for the summer because so far not many people from Europe have heard her play. I think she will turn some headz…

HICCUP
I found these guys through Tamara, who is our booking agent in Germany. She just handed me the CD at dinner before playing at Panorama Bar. I went back to my room and put it on and was like Whoah! I played the “Hiccup Theme” that night and knew it would be signed by the next day. Hot shit! Then I found out later these guys have their own party going on in their hometown in Northern Germany with a nice big following so I’m expecting to hear more soon!

WORTHY
worthy

Can you spill the dirt on some of your all time favourite dirtybird moments?
My best dirtybird moment was at one of our Golden Gate Park parties three summers ago. It was the last outdoor of the season and I was closing the party after Style of Eye. While I was playing, the sun started to go down. We usually stop the party when it starts getting dark out. But everyone in the crew just kept on telling me to keep on playing. It got so dark that I could not see the mixing board, so everyone started pulling out their cell phones so I could see what I was doing. I played one of the best sets I have ever played that day. It was a really magical moment and an epic end to our outdoor party season that year.

JPHLIP

jphlip

Can you spill the dirt on some of your all time favourite dirtybird moments?
I haven’t technically been a part of dirtybird for the whole 5 years – but I have known the boys for pretty much the entire time so I guess I have been along for much of the ride! Some of the best moments for me have been the little random things that happen when we all get together…piling into taxis in Miami, sneaking into the pawn shop twice at WMC, rocking out to Matthew Dear at Jazid 6 years ago…those are some of my earlier moments with the boys. There are so many stories and moments – here’s few that pop into my mind from when I have been around: flying out to SF to see the premier of “Snakes on a Plane” at the theater with the whole crew, which led to DJing at the dirtybird party for the first time ever back when it was a monthly at a lil spot called “Shine”… I ended up not going home for 10 days and my life has never been the same. An 18 hour trip to Vegas with Justin, Christian, & Fernando – enough said. Barclay signing my first tune Rumble, Rumble at WMC 2008… and the 3 days of dirtybird Bootcamp that followed, in which I failed! Watching Barclay play at DEMF – everyone was packed into the beatport tent – I was standing next to his Mom, it was the first time she had ever seen him play. AMAZING MOMENT!

Can you tell us about some of your favourite releases over the past five years?
My fav releases are probably The Whistler and Stoopit…although I love them all. I once asked justin how he makes the best farting bass sounds ever…it’s a big secret but I’m gonna let you in on it…he squeezes his ass checks together really hard!!! Having a stamp on each release is really important because that’s what makes the tune get stuck in your head! Or you know what it is the second the DJ starts mixing it in – and it makes you freak! It gives the tune that catch…it’s one of the things that makes our tracks sound unlike anything else.

What does it take to be a dirtybird 5 years on from the its beginning?
…In order to be a dirtybird you have to be raised in a zoo

JUSTIN MARTIN

justin martin

Can you spill the dirt on some of your all time favourite dirtybird moments?
In the past five years since the creation of dirtybird records, it would take a whole book to contain all of the crazy memories, wild moments, and wonderful stories I have experienced from being a member of the dirtybird family. Our San Francisco parties have grown from tiny get-togethers to full-blown sold-out events. I remember when we had our first park BBQ there was only a few sausages on the grill, a handful of friends, we definitely didn’t need any permits. Now our park party’s easily see 15 pounds of carne asada on the grill, well over 1000 people, and we have made many new friends and fans over the last 5 years. One park party in particular that stands out for me, because of how it truly defined the dirtybird spirit, happened a few years ago on a overcast day. The weather report called for rain, but when we woke up that Sunday morning, we decided to go for it anyways and set up the sound despite the ominous overcast sky. As the day went on and people showed up, it started to sprinkle, and then rain, and then pour! But the music continued and people danced as though it was the sunniest day of their lives. It probably wasn’t the safest idea to keep the electricity going while everything around us was getting drenched, but we were all just having way too much fun to stop. It was a beautiful sight seeing our outdoor dancefloor filled with nothing but nodding and smiling drenched faces and muddy stomping feet. It was truly ridiculous fun and that is what dirtybird has always been about. We just want to have as much fun as is humanly possible. I’m lucky to have a family like Christian, Worthy, J Phlip, and Claude that is just as crazy about having a good time as I am. Dirtybird spirit for life!

CHRISTIAN MARTIN

christian martin
Can you spill the dirt on some of your all time favourite dirtybird moments?
For me the best dirtybird moments have taken place at our own events. When I started the Golden Gate Park BBQ in 2003, I didn’t have a clear plan of where I wanted it to go – I just wanted to hear music loud and outdoors, surrounded by friends. Without tons of people around at those first few parties, we drew strength and inspiration from each other – what kind of sonic surprises would I need to play to constantly surprise and delight Justin, Claude and Worthy? That competitive yet playful spirit certainly fuelled the early days of the label – the first dirtybird releases were one WTF moment after another. As I learned how to produce my own tracks, my vision became a lot clearer – I could finally make the songs I wanted to hear out in the park and in the club.

What does it take to be a dirtybird 5 years on from the its beginning?
Now five years into the label, and seven years into the parties, I think the most important facet of being a dirtybird is our intense focus on keeping the music FUN. Every event or release that carries the dirtybird logo is going to involve a lot of ass shaking and a ton of smiles. Not to mention heavy doses of bass!!! I still love those moments after dropping a new secret weapon, when one of the other guys runs up and yells “What the fuck is this track!!?!?”

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