San Francisco has a rich tradition of cultivating House Music producers and then sending them out into the groove-thirsty world like missionaries of dance. Justin Martin might be one of the most important of this class of missionaries, but not for the reasons we often assign famous globe-trotting DJs. Justin Martin is a humble ball-cap wearing, pizza eating, smiley faced human being with a silly side. These are characteristics shared by the Dirtybird Players, a collection of San Francisco based House Music producers led by their captain and Grill Master Claude VonStorke. Put it this way, their ideal show is not necessarily a packed nightclub, but a BBQ in Golden Gate Park with people dancing their asses off and scarfing burgers in the sunshine. It’s this philosophy that has driven the Dirtybird sound in general and Justin Martin’s sound in particular–bouncy and bassy, groovy and soulful. This is dance music made for dancing, not waiting for the drop and recording it for social media.
Justin Martin came to prominence in the mid 2000’s when he dropped “The Sad Piano”, a track that made everyone re-asses their relationship to the dancefloor. It was released on Ben Watt’s (Everything but the Girl) label Buzzin’ Fly Records in 2003 and immediately re-established just how impervious to the erratic fluctuations of rave culture classic house music was.
2005 saw Justin Martin’s first release with Dirtybird Records, a funky, twitchy, hip-swiveler called “Cicada”. In 2010, he released his first EP with Dritybird, Robot Romance, and with it, the world had gained not simply a House Music Hero, but a guardian of the craft. Justin Maritin’s ability to get crowds moving is unparalleled, and on Saturday, July 25th, he’ll show Exchange LA exactly why that is.