Eclectic Minds: A chance for non D&B artists to big up our scene and tell us how its influenced them. Today we’re chatting to Justin Martin. Core member of Claude VonStroke’s San-Fran-based bass loving DirtyBird fam, Justin’s sub-low, booty-busting house should resonate with all D&B fans… Robust, bottom-end heavy, stark, icy, deep and uncompromising, it’s no surprise that he puts a lot of influences down to good old drum & bass…
“Drum & bass has been huge for me,” he grins. “I was into it long before I was into house music. The first five years of my DJ career was all about me buying drum & bass records!”
No finer example of this D&B love can be found than on his debut album Ghettos & Gardens; it features this, an exquisite rendition of Goldie’s classic Kemistry…
“It started with me messing around with the chords of Kemistry because it’s always been one of those tracks that I’ve wanted to remix,” he explains. “The vocals are so beautiful and it’s one of the first drum & bass tracks that I ever got truly excited about. It was always my favourite track off Timeless and has been a real inspiration.”
But with Goldie’s no-messing reputation, Justin knew he couldn’t just rattle off a cheeky a bootleg. If such a tribute to a classic was going to happen, it was going to have to be done properly. Luckily he already had an ‘in’ with Metalheadz thanks to Mr VonStroke, a man who’s equally as enthused about drum & bass…
“I knew I had to go through the appropriate channels. Luckily Barclay (VonStroke) knows him well so we asked him directly,” says Justin. “Goldie was intrigued but told us there were no DAT recordings because the tune is so old. They’d been destroyed. So I took what I could off the vinyl and sent it to him straight away. He loved it, he gave it the thumbs up and let me put it on the album. What an honour! To remix one of my heroes!”
Kemistry is just one of a collection of incredible house tracks on Ghettos & Gardens. Created with class and sonic attention to detail, it’s a fine example of how bass and D&B production techniques being applied to house music with authority and creativity.
In the meantime, here’s Justin’s top three – well, actually he forced us to do four – ultimate drum & bass tracks.
Seba & Lo-Tek – Sonic Wind/So Long
“You’ve got to play both sides of this release! Both are incredibly beautiful! There are other tracks that introduced me to drum & bass but this record really captivated my mind and made me want to dig deeper and find out more. The way they use the 808s! Clicky, funky 808s on the intro is a huge influence. From the moment I’ve heard that I’ve always wanted to use that in a tune. When I started to make house music that was the sound I really wanted to play with.”
Adam F – Circles
“This takes you into outer space. My buddy Eats Everything has done an amazing rework of it. I’m one of the lucky few that has it and it’s a monstrous rework! There’s no touching the original, though. It’s a perfect piece of music. I really couldn’t put it any simpler.”
The Chameleon – Just Close Your Eyes And Listen
“This is an alias of Global Communication – Tom Middleton and Mark Pritchard. It came out on Good Looking and it’s an incredible journey. There are very few sections that are looped, it’s just a mind blowing musical journey. It’s pretty epic, at least nine minutes long, every second of it is exciting.”