As the late Oscar Wilde once said: “life is too important to be taken seriously”, an ethos that Justin Martin is sticking with despite achieving soaring success over the last six years as a producer and international DJ.
Justin initially pricked the ears of the electronic music community in 2003 with his first record ‘The Sad Piano’ on Ben Watt’s Buzzin’ Fly label. Everyone in the electronic music food chain got involved, from the A list DJs like Derrick Carter and Pete Tong that were playing the track, to the international music press that were raving about it. It even translated to the German underground, with Poker Flat licensing it for Steve Bug’s ‘Bugnology’ compilation. Like someone that goes bowling for the first time and gets five strikes and a turkey, Justin couldn’t really have hoped for a better entrance.
Feeding off the energy of the San Francisco underground and mentored by fellow super producer Claude Vonstroke, Justin was intrinsically involved with the development of dirtybird records, appearing on its first four releases. Justin was soon ready to take flight, releasing a string of solo EPs which flaunted a very unique sound and garnered still more respect among fellow DJS and heavyweight’s of the scene.
As well as his formidable arsenal of original productions, Justin is now equally known for his collaborations with his brother Christian as The Martin Brothers, producing such hip-hop influenced hits as ‘Stoopit’ and ‘Dum’. Justin has also made his mark remixing such bona fide classics as Radiohead’s ‘Nude’, Marshall Jefferson’s ‘Mushrooms’, and TG’s ‘Revox’, firmly establishing himself as the man to make big tracks even bigger.
Demand for Justin’s skills behind the decks has skyrocketed with his bookings schedule basically crammed to capacity for the next 4 months. With bookings confirmed everywhere from Exit Festival (Belgrade), to Sonar (Barcelona) to Panorama Bar (Berlin), Justin’s diary is reading like the dreams of a professional raver. Stateside he continues to be a regular fixture at the dirtybird events in San Francisco and beyond.
Further nods to his skills as a DJ and tastemaker are apparent in his growing discography of mix compilations, most notably his own ‘Chaos Restored’ mix series on the prestigious Buzzin’ Fly label.
Music journalists typically describe Justin’s sound as ‘melodic and tough’ with his music encapsulating both melody and emotional depth yet always with enough undeniable ass shaking properties to translate to the floor.
“I’m always trying to find music for my DJ sets that rattles sound systems, but still has enough melody and interesting texture to expand your mind even if you’re sitting at home on a snowy or rainy day.”
In 2009, production wise Justin has a few EPs scheduled to drop on dirtybird, a remix for Freerange, and a DJ mix for Ministry of Sound’s ‘Underground series’ compilation. He remains as enthusiastic as ever to be involved in the scene. When recently questioned by Resident Advisor on what he’d be doing if he wasn’t a DJ or dance music producer he just replied: “Wishing I was a DJ or music producer.”
By all accounts it’s hard to tell him to wipe that smile off his face.