The early bird gets the worm, but the lucky bird wins the opportunity to complete a three-legged race with OG Dirtybird tech house spinner, Worthy, at Dirtybird Campout East 2018. Dancing Astronaut and Dirtybird are offering one fan of the tech funk collective an exclusive meet & greet experience with Worthy, as well as a pair of tickets to Dirtybird’s inaugural East Coast Campout. Enter below for your chance to fly south with the Dirtybird crew.
The nest for Dirtybird Campout’s East Coast edition is finally full, with the complete lineup for its inaugural Dirtybird Campout East set to feature label forerunners, Barclay Crenshaw, Justin Martin, and Shiba San. Crenshaw, Martin, and San round out the St. Cloud, Florida-based event’s lineup, the third and final phase of which further expands the festival’s already massive talent roster, making for an alluring assortment of tech house, house, and tech funk tastemakers ready to take the decks from February 2-5.
Accompanying Campout East’s third phase is the ensuing news of the Dirtybird Campout East Compilation, due out on January 19 on the collective’s sister label, Dirtybird Select. The special edition compilation will feature music from Nick Monaco, BOT, Justin Jay, and more. Birds seeking to migrate to St. Cloud with an exclusive Dirtybird release in tow can pre-order the compilation here.
Claude VonStroke‘s first love was hip-hop, and as is said, “you never forget your first love.” In an effort to hone in on his love for the genre, VonStroke released a debut LP under his own name, Barclay Crenshaw, in January of 2017 and as the year went on, he released a satiating slew of extraterrestrial-friendly hip-hop, and honeyed-jazz, leading listeners on tantalizing trip-hop odysseys.
In October, Barclay Crenshaw played a cavernous, bass-saturated set at the Dirtybird Campout. After delivering what was largely regarded as one of the best West Coast bass sets of the year, Crenshaw’s now shared the near hour live mix and its an appeasing culmination of unrelinquishing, dirty bass and hip-hop opulence.
“Alien visitors have chosen to send messages across our channels of abandoned technology. Our old phone lines are currently running complex data formulas that have allowed enemy visitors to take control of all “A.I.” devices such as Alexa and Siri. This “A.I.” is now fully controlled and the brainwashing of the human population has commenced.”
Continuing, “Barclay Crenshaw took a stand last October somewhere off the grid in Bradley, California – shielding 4,000 listeners from the imminent takeover. The DJ set was actually a series of bass waves deconstructing the brainwashing process. Please listen now to this recording especially if you feel like you are no longer in control of your life. Save yourselves.”
Having already shared a serious flock of artists playing the festival in St. Cloud, Florida from February 2–4, label head Claude VonStroke has now announced the diverse second phase of acts set to migrate to the three-day tech funk paradise.
Early experience passes are now also available offering attendees the opportunity to dance the Thursday night before the festival to Seth Troxler, one of the most sought-after acts dance music has to offer.
While this line-up is surely Dirtybird’s most immersive and sonically expanse musical billing to date, attendees can expect the same beloved programming that sought out the success of the West Coast edition. Campers will be treated to a plethora of nostalgic activities including stand-up comedy, kickball, sack races, s’mores, a talent show, open mic, late night bingo, and much more all while competing alongside their fellow campers for the famed Ironbird Trophy.
Dirtybird Campout East Phase 1 + 2 Lineup:
&Me Abi Getto* Adam Port Ardalan Billy Kenny Biyo* Biz Markie Bot* Bruno Furlan Christian Martin Ciszak Claptone Claude VonStroke Craze Danny Kolk* Dateless* Deron Delgado* Destructo* DJ Glen DJ Tennis Elevator Musik* Eprom Fisher George Fitzgerald Get Real* Green Velvet* Hector Romero* Ivy Lab* J.Phlip Just Blaze* Justin Jay Lee K* Louisahhh* LTJ Bukem feat MC Armanni* Madam X Marshall Jefferson Maximono Mija MK Nick Monaco Pearson Sound Persian Empire* PillowTalk Prok & Fitch Rampa Roni Size Ryan Forever* Ryan Hemsworth Sage Armstrong Salva Sébastien V* Seth Troxler* Soul Clap Stööki Sound Sven Lochenhoer Tiga Vangelis Kostoxenakis* Walker & Royce* Will Clarke Wolf+Lamb Worthy ZDS
More artists are to be announced in January. More information and tickets are available here.
The illustrious artist has seen the likes of many flock to his musical coop. Deservedly so, for VonStroke weaves together an idiosyncratic array of deep, melodic, and tech house with a seamless interjection of booty-poppin’ bass and off-kilter electro.
Presently, fans of the virtuoso can revel in his expectedly colorful 90-minute Dirtybird Campout West set.
A fluid display of his electric essence, VonStroke’s enthralling set douses its listener in a thrilling amalgamation of booty-shakin’ house, all the way to its interjection of acid-tinged tech house. The experience is nothing short of iconic for the Dirtybird camp.
Dirtybird Campout will hit the east coast February 2-4 in St. Cloud Florida and feature a performance from VonStroke as well as many more. Tickets are available here.
In fact, her innate structure itself shines in her all-encompassing M.O. Mija is currently in the midst of taking her Fk A Genre tour far and wide and perfectly encapsulating its celebratory ethos was her Dirtybird Campout takeover. During the set, Mija collaborated with friends Ryan Forever, Ardalan, Mark Starr, and Deux Yeux.
Between Ardalan’s gritty house sound, to Mark Starr’s future Bay Area heat, or Deux Yeux’s cutting edge bass tones, Fk A Genre proved a feverish fusion all the birds flocked towards.
Now, fans can relish in her Bass Lodge takeover via her off-kilter two-hour set, and look forward to another offering of greatness when Mija performs at the East Coast Campout which takes place February 2-4 in St. Cloud Florida.
Six-years ago, birds of a feather Samuel Walker and Gavin Royce perched atop an egg of an idea. The Brooklyn-based duo’s musical nest hadn’t, however, been empty — Walker & Royce had been releasing music since 2011, when their track, “Future Lately” caught the attention of Damian Lazarus. The ‘yolk’ of this theoretical egg would center around the duo’s desire to develop a debut album, and years later, Walker & Royce’s musical incubation has culminated in a fully fledged product that is currently sending feathers aflutter: Self Help, the Dirtybird signees’ eleven-track debut album, officially released on October 20.
Claude VonStroke’s ‘tech funk’ undertaking, Dirtybird Records has proven itself to be no stranger to the public spotlight. The underground imprint witnessed a consecutive triumph in 2013 and 2014, taking home the title of “Underground Label of the Year” both years at the International Dance Music Awards. The Dirtybird collective likewise emerged as the triumphant entity in Mixmag’s recent ‘Label Of The Decade’ deliberation, where the label was identified as the most impactful imprint between the years of 2007-2017. VonStroke notably founded the label in 2005.
The collective’s continual industry influence is irrefutable, as is the brand’s expansion, what with the West coast label having newly announced the inaugural East Coast edition of its annual flagship West Coast Campout event.
As the flock of Dirtybird fans worldwide continues to grow, Walker & Royce find themselves responsible for some of this growth. A breakout hit originating from Self Help’s track list, the intergalactic tune, “Take Me To Your Leader” quickly became a house set staple upon its July release, appealing to veteran house music listeners and ears less accustomed to the genre alike. “We wanted to write music that was more accessible and less niche,” Walker says of the shared vision behind Self Help.
Walker & Royce’s determination to craft an album non-limiting in aesthetic has since shown itself to be a fruitful initiative. The album’s stellar sonic groove surfaces as one that invites all dance music fans to check their preconceptions of house music at the door in order to get down on the dance floor.
Dancing Astronaut flew in Walker & Royce’s direction to discuss the album’s release, the progress of the duo’s international “Self Help Tour,” and not to be neglected, the pair’s own preferred ‘self help’mediums prior to Walker & Royce’s ‘Dirtybird Players’ performance in Washington, DC.
First of all, congratulations on the debut album!
So how has the [Self Help] tour been going so far? You’re right in the thick of things right now.
We’re right smack in the middle of it, it’s really good. We’ve done clubs before, but it’s our first time doing a headlining tour, so it’s cool to be out every weekend. It’s a nice way to present our album.
Have there been any favorite moments so far while on this tour for the debut album, any revelatory moments being that this is your first headlining tour?
Walker:The campout was amazing [West Coast Campout]. We have a lot more to go, until January almost.
Royce: Well Christmas kind of ends and then we go to Australia as part of it [the tour].
Walker:I mean, Vancouver went off, Vancouver was amazing. We also have Holy Ship! that we’re doing, that’s coming up. The main thing for all these gigs is we’ve been doing this for a long time, but now’s the one time, the first time I feel we’ve been able to go in and be ourselves 100%, and people are into it, we’ve got people there that are into it rather than feeling their way through like “who are these people?” We can just be ourselves. It’s great, I feel a lot more adventurous now.
Royce: It’s good for us to get out every weekend, it’s kind of strengthening our ability. We’ve had abilities as DJs, but now the amount of DJing we’re doing is elevating our sets, it’s becoming second nature, it’s letting us experiment a little more, doing little things that we’ve always kind of said “oh we should do that,” or things we’ve done once or twice, but now we’re doing that a little more regularly.
A debut album is a major foundational work that offers a fuller look at an artist’s sound. Can you speak more to the vision of this debut album?
Royce: We knew we wanted it to work as an album more than just an EP, I think that was really important to us so that it didn’t come off as “here’s ten-tracks that sound really good in the club.” We wanted to have not maybe a story but a feel, we wanted it to really flow and be something that you listen to at home, not just in club situations. We also didn’t want it to be sample based—we got our own vocals, our own original stuff, that was the main thing.
Walker: There’s almost always some kind of vocal element in our music, and instead of sampling everything, we wanted to just get singers and write whole songs. And some of them [the songs] are more house tracks while some of them are not, some of them are more ‘poppy.’ I feel like we did what we wanted to do. We wanted to make some tracks that would be full vocal tracks and others that would be a little more different, like the first and last tracks on the album.
What was the song on the album that you most enjoyed producing?
Walker: It changes every week! There’s favorite in terms of easiest, fun.
So what then was your favorite song to produce in terms of personality, the one most reflective of your evolving sound? You did switch it up not too long ago.
Walker:Take Me to Your Leader is probably the best because it’s so vast, like sometimes a song takes awhile because you struggle with it, but this song took two or three days.
Royce:For me it’s the Sophiegrophy song, “My Own Thang.” It’s just this whole hip hop vocal. That normally sounds a little corny in house music, but I knew if we did it right that it would be really good. I didn’t think it was going to work and I kind of was almost like okay we’re just going to sample a little bit of it, and we ended up being able to use the full thing. I think it’s one of the standout tracks on the album.
Walker: We knew we wanted to make her look good, she gave us great stuff
Royce:It’s hard to use that kind of stuff on house music, it doesn’t really fit [house music] with hip hop vocals. A lot of people just sample a hip hop vocal and it’s not really hip hop but this was like she wrote this song, it’s not sampled it’s her song, she wrote it for us, and we wanted to treat it well.
Your set at the West Coast Campout emerged as one of the fan favorites from the weekend, and you notably played much of the new album there. From an artist’s perspective, what is it like to play at a Campout event?
Royce: It was amazing, this is the third campout we’ve done. The first one we played at 12:00 PM on a Saturday, there weren’t that many people. The second one we had a 5:30 PM set time which was on the first day and it was great, and this time we were right before Justin Martin on Saturday night and it was a little bit of pressure. This set felt more like a concert than anything we’ve ever done because it was really like presenting the album, it was the first time that we played almost all of the album tracks in the set, and we also had Dances With White Girls performing three songs with us so it had a little bit of a concert vibe, which was cool.
Can you disclose whether or not you will be at Dirtybird Campout East?
We can neither confirm nor deny.
It was worth a valiant effort to try to find out!
Royce: I see what you’re doing!
Whether or not we’ll see you at Campout East, can you share any details regarding any additional new music that might be coming out this year?
Royce: We have a remix of “La La Land” by Green Velvet that is supposed to be coming out before the end of the year. We told everybody it is, I really hope it does, you never know with these things, sometimes they get moved. We don’t have a release date for it yet, but it’s supposed to be coming out.
In any case, that’s something to look forward to.
You’ve noted in a previous interview that the title ‘Self Help’ is a parody that satirizes the saturation of self-help books available for purchase. Outside of music, what’s your go to “self help” medium?
Walker: For me it’s walking.
Royce: I love walking. And I don’t do it everyday but I also meditate in the morning. I get up and I have this meditation app that’s like “breathe,” and I just sit there for ten minutes and it clears my head, it really does work. I should do it everyday, but I don’t do it everyday. The big thing for me about walking is that I really hate running.
I love the fact that you’re a duo and you guys basically gave the same answer, I guess you must be rubbing off on each other.
Royce: The other part of the “self help” thing too is it’s a parody joke and that’s our sense of humor, it’s a very New York sense of humor I think. It’s just honest, like we’re laughing at ourselves. It’s also like to do this, you really have to believe in yourself, it has multiple layers of meaning which is why we thought it was a really good name for this album.
There are few better duos to kick off one of the best parties of the year than Mikey Lion and Porkchop delivering the Desert Hearts mantra of “house, techno, & love.” Currently taking their fervent parties far and wide, the globetrotting party brigade may have been split up with half the crew at Groove Cruise, they nonetheless threw down, and there’s finally proof.
The Dirtybird brand is flying south for the winter.
The San Francisco label founded by Claude VonStroke in 2005 has steadily attracted the attention of “tech funk” fans each year via the collective’s massive West Coast campout. Now that Dirtybird’s flagship event has concluded after a three-day spree in Bradley, California, Dirtybird’s founding father has unveiled the first phase of the East Coast Campout’s lineup.
Slated to touch down in St. Cloud, Florida from February 2–4, the inaugural East Coast Campout extravaganza will see VonStroke double as headlining artist and camp counselor, flanked by label heavyweights, Christian Martin, Ardalan, and J. Phlip. Tiga, Claptone, MK, and Fisher will likewise make their debut at the East Coast Campout, joined by a host of additional performers on the first phase of the camp roster.
Boasting a solid lineup of first phase DJs ready to take the decks come February, the East Coast Campout will feature a mardi gras meets voodoo campout theme that channels the trademark “quirks, charm, and character” of the South. The Florida based campout will offer attendees a one of a kind Super Bowl viewing party experience, along with a series of camp oriented activities, ranging from Tug-O-War to a Beat Boxing Competition.
Hosted at a working summer camp, the East Coast Campout is situated closely to both Miami and Orlando, making the event all the more accessible. Tickets to the 21+ event will go on sale Wednesday, Nov 4 at 10 AM. Visit Dirtybird’s official website for more information.
When one’s passion is ardent enough, that which ignites it will eventually take over all aspects of life. Sacha Robotti — Dirtybird’s well-loved, Belgian-raised clan member — is an embodiment of this idea, having come to a realization well into his professional life that he was meant to pursue a career as an electronic musician.
Music had clearly been something that ran deep in Robotti’s veins, as evidenced by his professional pianist sister. “I played music [classically] until I was about fifteen or so,” the tech house commander recalls when discussing playing cello in his youth. “Then, I started DJing.”
Robotti’s tone subtly lights up when he mentions his beginnings as a DJ, and anytime the topic of his current profession arises in the conversation. His dedication and love for his art is infectious, and shows up in all manifestations of his being. This feeds right into his steadily-growing fan base, who revel in and return the enthusiasm with full force. He would be serving as a counselor to a raucous crowd at Dirtybird Campout in just a few days, and continuing a lengthy Slothacid tour right afterward — a testament to how a genuine attitude and talent can carry one far.
Before taking the leap of faith into DJ and producerhood, he faced an all-too familiar crossroads when moving into the young professional part of his life. “I had always felt there was a possibility I could make it as a musician,” Sacha began when asked why he didn’t decide to test his luck in the electronica waters straight away. “However, at the time architecture seemed like a more sensible career path, so I persisted down that road,” he admitted.
“In my opinion, you truly get better at something when you’re passionate about it, and ultimately my passion is music.”
He felt satiated for a brief while: “It was definitely a great field at first, because it made me travel and look at the world from different perspectives. I feel like you perceive everything differently once you know how certain things are built, and how people move around.” Having been born to an Italian father, a German mother, and being raised in Belgium, a tendency toward cosmopolitan habits is as ingrained in Robotti as music was.
Another thing that has remained unchanged is his selfless interest in creating a positive impact for others. Sacha let his creativity flow through some conceptual design work, but most enjoyed “participating in an area of architecture that was really useful to those who needed it.” Before turning to music, he had been working on a reconstruction project in a war-affected area of Afghanistan.
The former architect is a strong believer of sustainable development as well. To him, it’s “the direction we all need to go in to save the planet, especially with all the pollution and destruction happening right now.” He continues on: “We need to shift to a different outlook, and start building with more recycled materials and other power and water-saving supplies that don’t consume as many resources.” One day, when he’s ready, he’ll be building his own house in such a manner.
Sacha’s turning point came in 2005, when he “got invited to apply for a master’s in music at this institution in Berlin.” The sign he’d been looking for had finally arrived. “When I got accepted, I knew my path was to do music full time,” he affirmed.
His followers know the rest of the story. Influenced by the underground and other electronica influences that swept his home town of Brussels, Robotti built his own unique personality through highly danceable sets and thumping tech house works that caught Dirtybird attention in 2012. Through his music, he’s once again able to travel around the world and view things from different perspectives.
“I live and breathe music right now. I try to embrace everything that I can, and take any opportunity I get to travel, network, and see different places with my work. I find it particularly interesting to learn about new cultures and people all around the world!”
In music, he also gets to continue down a path where his output is something of use to people. While architecture manifested utility on a more physical scale, his music offers people a playful escape from the real world — always a welcome gift.
An innate desire to sweep people off to a pleasant place happens to tie into his association with sloths as a spirit animal and personal brand. When throwing a warehouse party one day, where the goal was to create a place “where one could feel comfortable, relaxed, and have a good time — unlike a club-type setting,” he decided to use a sloth logo. Fans soon started tagging him on all things sloth-related, and thus he became a “sloth man.”
“Like the sloth, I like to take time to balance everything in life. They really are a positive spirit animal for me, in a sense.”
The conversation ends on a gleeful note, as Sacha names off the new cities he’s played thus far on his successful Slothacid tour, where he’s looking forward to playing next, and of course, his favorite things about Dirtybird Campout. That weekend, he went on to be lovingly welcomed by his campers, where he returned their positivity with a wild set that shattered their self control and left nothing but dancing as a result.
Let’s dive a bit into your background now with architecture, the field you were in before music. Can you give us some details on how you got into it?
Sure! I studied architecture in Scotland and Berlin. It was definitely a great field at first, because it made me travel and look at the world from different perspectives. I feel like you perceive everything differently once you know how certain things are built, and how people move around. After eight years in the field, however, I realized that it wasn’t for me.
One big takeaway from my years in architecture is that I know for certain that I want to design and build my own house one day. Hopefully I’ll be able to do this soon!
Are you saving up for land and materials and such?
I wish, but not right now. Sometime in the future, I hope I can start.
Honestly, my life is just about music right now. I live and breathe it right now, and try to embrace everything that I can, and take any opportunity I get to travel, learn about new cultures, network, and see different places with my work. I find it particularly interesting to learn about new cultures and people all around the world!
What led you to study architecture in the first place instead of diving right into music?
I played music streadily until I was about 15 or so, and then I started DJing. My sister was a pianist as well, so in a way I always felt there was a possibility I could make it as a musician. However, at the time architecture seemed like a more sensible career path, so I persisted down that road until I realized it wasn’t more sensible for me. In my opinion, you truly get better at something when you’re passionate about it, and ultimately my passion is music.
Totally agree. If you’re passionate and driven enough about something, you can make it work! So, when was your turning point when you made the transition to being a full-time musician?
In about 2005. I was in Afghanistan working on a re-construction project. I got invited to apply for a master’s in music at this institution in Berlin, and when I got accepted I knew my path was to do music full time. I got a master in “music communication,” which is more or less a “deluxe” version of sound design. It was a more artistic side of the field though, with more theory.
Let’s get into some more music-related things. Tell us about your Slothacid tour!
It’s been great so far — I’ve been able to play in cities I haven’t been to before. There’s also Dirtybird Campout, which I’m super excited for. I’m playing at Sky Bar in Chicago too, along with another round of interesting places. I have about 20 more cities to hit in the next couple months. I’ll be travelling with some support as well — Kevin Knapp is coming, Rybo will be there, J. Worra, Pezzner, and Fancy Fox. I’m really looking forward to that!
Which cities are ones you’ve just played at for the first time, and which have been your favorites?
Vancouver is one, and I also haven’t been to Edmonton (British Columbia), Kelowna, Washington DC and a few others. I played in Boston as well, which was really nice.
Moving onto Dirtybird Campout – you’ve been to every one. What are your favorite things about it, and what sets it apart from other events you’ve played at?
The campout theme itself makes it different from every other festival I’ve been at. The boy/girl scout spirit, the games, the music being all Dirtybird, and the intimacy are all things I love to it.