Over the past few years, San Francisco’s Dirtybird Records have built a rabid fanbase of dance music fans who flock to their unique take on deep house music. Earlier this year, the label took their famed ‘Dirtybird BBQ‘ event on tour across country to huge crowds. While Claude VonStroke is the label’s head honcho, after years of mentorship, it’s been Justin Martin who has been a leading creative force.

Recently, Martin’s been firing on all cylinders. His remix of Henry Krinkle’s ‘Stay’ was one of the hottest songs of the summer, and his collaborations with the likes of Eats Everything and Dusky have been nothing short of fantastic. He’s taken the style of the label and developed it into his own. Dirtybird has a unique style – you hear it when anyone on the label performs. But over the past year, a separate ‘Justin Martin’ style has emerged. It keeps the bass but has added a layer of pure funk to it. You can hear influences from all over – his remix of Kenna’s ‘Relations’ sounds like something out of a Talking Heads album.

So, when Justin Martin takes the booth, you can expect a full on party, blending all of these influences – house, funk, and a bit of hip hop. It doesn’t hurt that Martin’s been on floating DJ festival/dance music cult Holy Ship since its inception in 2012, bringing a slew of Holy Shippers from around the east coast down to New York City, smuggling pizza and holding flags, bringing the party into high gear right away.

Martin’s Friday night set at Verboten was predictably awesome, blending together most of his recent bangers with tracks from others in the Dirtybird roster and other choice selections. Highlights include his aforementioned hits from this year, Ol Dirty Bastard’s ‘Shimmy Shimmy Ya’ which segued into a remixed version of a song, and the always popular rework of The Pack’s ‘Jello’, featuring the fun, almost sing-a-long refrain ‘At the function I shake my ass’, which is still unreleased. 

Closing down the night was J Phlip, Dirtybird’s resident female, who kept the party going until the early morning. As I said, Justin Martin brings out a party – no one was looking to sleep just yet.