The Martinez Brothers are New York City house music royalty. Growing up in the Bronx like so many of the city’s legends, their father, Steve Martinez, imbued music in Christian and Stevie Jr. from a young age. They hit the road at 15 and 18 respectively, and they’ve never left it.
The two have been absorbing music from around the world their entire lives, and their latest mixtape, Space Jams Vol. 1, expresses this fact in full while maintaining their indelible NYC identity.
Never betraying their unending commitment to the four-on-the-floor, this mixtape features nine dance-floor ready heaters (which have likely been heard in their sets for years already). Each of them features subtle undertones that allude to their concrete-infused homeland such as the heavy disco samples on “Hitman.” Not to mention the flip of D’Angelo’s “Betray My Heart” off his latest album, The Black Messiah, which was largely recorded and produced in NYC.
New York’s musical history goes so much deeper than house music, though, and The Martinez Brothers made sure to honor it in full. Not only is there a straight-up hip-hop track on the tape (“4 U Shaolin Traphouse”), but the interludes pay homage to some of east-coast rap’s greatest including J Dilla and MF DOOM.
As artists, the pair have not engaged in production as much as their fellow dance-music lifers. They’ve put out singles, remixes, and EP’s few and far between, and they still don’t have an official album to their name. This makes Space Jams Vol. 1 their lengthiest release to date with 13 total tracks.
Stream the full tape below or pick it up on Bandcamp for whatever price you choose.
Photo Credit: Erik Voake