Well folks, it’s about to be a dirtybird weekend in Boston! Residents of the Bay State are lucky enough to have two of the finest in underground Tech-House and Booty Bass coming their way this Friday the 22nd (Christian Martin @ Naga in Cambridge) and Sunday the 24th (Claude VonStoke @ The Phoenix Landing in Cambridge). Both are part of the dirtybird Records family, which is an independent Underground House label out of San Francisco, founded by both artists, while Claude currently holds the title of Boss. According to the dirtybird website: “dirtybird has been breaking new ground and dropping basslines since January 2005. The label has always been synonymous with sweaty bass-lines, quirky ideas, and bass driven funk. It is only fitting that a label based on a philosophy of bringing smiles to the dance-floor was created by a party. In 2003, Christian Martin took a risk and bought a giant sound system on his credit card. The party was named after a drawing of a bird that Barclay Crenshaw (aka Claude VonStroke,) used to draw when he was a kid. The line-up was rounded out with Christian’s brother Justin Martin and his room-mate Worthy. All four DJs were tired of the same old San Francisco vocal house that they heard everywhere they went. The grand idea was to change the landscape of San Francisco house music by throwing an epic free party in the park based on this new sound.”
My first experience with Claude VonStoke is synonymous with my first real dance music experience (and all four co-founders of MMIBTY were there). During the Summer of 2010 I ventured to Electric Zoo which was my first dance music festival, or festival of any kind actually. And it was my first time seeing live sets by world-renowned DJs. Only a two-day festival at that point and in its second year, the crew hadn’t quite figured out how to combat the dusty conditions of a dry Randall’s Island in the middle of the Summer. During the late afternoon of the first day we ventured to the Sunday School Grove tent, which was decorated like a forest, to check out whoever was DJing at the time. It turned out to be Mr. VonStroke and he was laying down some of the funkiest grooves I had ever heard. The sun was shining, the air was warm, the dust was swirling, and there were smiling faces all around me. That may have been one of the most fun times I had at a music festival, for that hour or so, and is a major reason why I’m hooked – and why Claude VonStoke will always keep a special place in my ear drums.
*Click through for more info and some tasty tracks/videos!*
I’ve now had the pleasure of seeing Claude (real name Barclay Crenshaw) perform many times – from that dusty tent to Ultra Music Festival 2011 (where he played to about 30 people while Deadmau5 was on the main stage…and Claude’s set was leaps and bounds better) to Spring Awakening Festival in Chicago to several times aboard Holy Ship 2013. One thing has remained constant: the beats continue to be funky as hell and cause me to bop around the dance floor like no other. While I always yearn for some of Barclay’s older material (basically anything off his Bird Brain album), I never cease to be amazed at the talent and music coming from dirtybird records. And having seen Justin Martin play at the Phoenix Landing last year, I can tell you it’s a great venue to really make that booty clap. Make sure you’re there if you know what’s good for you!! There is a $20 cover on a first come, first served basis.