There are two distinct ends to the clubbing spectrum. There’s the super-serious side, where the music is rigorously conceptualized and painstakingly produced, but the humor is in short supply; and there’s the carefree and kooky side, where fun is the name of the game, and the music itself, perhaps, is secondary.
You’d be forgiven for believing that Dirtybird, the label and collective headed up by Barclay Crenshaw — better known under his longtime alias, Claude VonStroke — falls into the latter camp. After all, this is the crew known for insane parties like the Dirtybird BBQs, and the label’s bassbinrattling tunes tend to have titles along the lines of ‘Stoopid’ and ‘Booty Comes First.’ But look a little closer, and you’ll see that Crenshaw and his cohorts take their music seriously, despite their party-down ethos. The vibe is one that has appeal to black-clad shufflers and neon-bright ravers alike, and that’s made Dirtybird one of the most vibrant forces in US clubbing for the past decade-and-a-half. DJ Mag was happy as a lark to have the chance to talk to Crenshaw and the gang as they celebrate their 15th anniversary.
This issue explores the full range of the spectrum throughout, with features on artists ranging from thought-provoking vocalist/producer Mhysa and the iconoclastic Squarepusher, to the buoyant bass slinger Whipped Cream and the g-house–loving Anime Edge & DANCE. Stone-cold vets such as Justin Strauss and Chip, relative newbies like Denis Sulta and Themba, reviews, tech news and more — it’s all waiting for you within these pages.
Editor, DJ Mag North America