Several groups highlight the independent spirit of American dance music more clearly than Dirtybird, the naughty West Coast dance label founded by Berkeley Cranshaw in 2005, better known by its name de plum: Claude Vonstroke.
Over the past 15 years, Dartybird has gradually established itself as one of the most recognized brands in electronic music. Its image is humorous, unprepared, strangely ridiculous – in the beginning, of course, in the name of “Claude Vonstroke” and the Scragley Avian cartoon character who served as the original logo – and according to its music. Ordinary Dirtybird production is bouncy, irresistible and above all fun. “It’s not pretending, but it’s not really a joke,” said Cranshaw of the label’s words. “It’s not taking itself too seriously – although there are some pretty serious tracks on the label!”
What a dirtybird Really Serious about the community. Enthusiastic as Dirtybird fans come in, which has helped enrich the label, not just the weather of industry change. Crenshaw and his crew may have benefited from the explosion of American electronic dance music in the early 2010s, but by carving out their own alleys, they sheltered themselves from the boom-and-bust cycle of mainstream EDM. Today, they are more powerful than ever, applying that power to a variety of fields: albums by aspiring artists, statement singles that set clubland on fire, and even their own expanded festival.
We talked to Cranshaw about keeping the Dirtybird spirit rich after 15 years.
In the beginning
Crenshaw started trying to get into music. He is a Hollywood production assistant and location scout Really Wanted to give instructions. But life and work took him from LA to Detroit, where he discovered Reeves – and also realized that he would never come to the movies. Moving to San Francisco, he took a variety of jobs – DVD copying, digital post-production, showing videos for a toy company – as well as trying to satisfy a growing interest in his own dance music with a creative self-funded documentary by a professional DJ. With no budget left for the Privacy soundtrack, he taught himself to produce in the style of his heroes. The film may not have been made in Sundance, but it wasn’t a complete wash. “Basically, I went to 25 grand schools,” he laughs. “I have interviewed all the famous DJs in the world. Hours of footage have been edited, so I knew everything I said with all my heart. In the end, I said, ‘I can do house music and I can run a label.’
Meanwhile, Cranash and his friends – among them, the future Dirtybird artist Christian And Justin Martin– We were crushing as they were throwing parties at night, wearing barbecues outside during the day, slowly making the following for their slightly curved spin at the tech house. Dissatisfied with the smooth, satin dip house prevalent in the bay, they made their sets from wool, created winkier records from underground European labels, void the playful atmosphere that would become Dartybird’s signature.
Shiva Sun, photo courtesy of Dirtybird Records
Eventually, fate struck: Cranesh met his wife, Aundi Caldwell. He could see how passionate he was about music, so he made him an offer: he would bear the couple’s financial expenses for a year. “He said, ‘If you can make 50 grand, you can do it for the rest of your life,'” he recalls. “If you can’t, you’re going back to the workshop, and you have to do a real job forever.” There was literally nothing more horrible than the second half of this statement. Towards the end of that year, he hit the target and then something.
Crenshaw launched Dirtybird in 2005, characteristically in a scrappy, bootstrapping fashion. He tapped Justin Martin, whom he is directing, for the first two releases, since he was the most talented producer of the bunch. (“He got it really fast,” he exclaimed. “He had just started and was well.”) Equipped with a pile of CDRs, Craneshow went to the Miami Winter Music Conference and Cannes Mid to give promos and press meat. He has finalized a list of top-level DJ addresses from another local label and started mailing promos around the world, each with a handwritten note. No American distributor was interested in this upstart label with bouncy, unprepared words, so they started signing with Newton of Germany এটি it was a funny move, as European influencers gave credibility to their American record-buyers.
When it came time for his own debut, Cranshaw left at the last minute with the name Claude Vonstroke. “That record, ‘Deep throat“We ended up selling so much vinyl that I knew we would survive,” he said. “We were really lucky – we had a huge record at the time of the third release. Probably kept us on that record for two years. ”
Dirtybirds are no longer sold on the way to vinyl. But Crenshaw has learned to capitalize on the success of the track as one of the biggest hits on the label. Shiva SanOf “All right, ” ViolationOf “Jack, ”And GRAMMYⓇ-nominated artist FisherOf 2017 Hi hi EP “Every two, three years, some records become absolutely nuclear,” Crenshaw says. And once the record goes into the underground circuit, Dirtybird turns around and licenses a major who can find a whole new audience for it. “Usually they let us put the dirty name on them. Sometimes they don’t. But we work hard on record labels and it’s hard to win. So every once in a while we get a win. ”
Fisher, photo courtesy Dirtybird Records
This is a win that gives Craneshow a deep focus on the demo pill. After all, Shiva came from Sun’s “OKAY” pile. The first page of Dartybird’s website has a link to submit a demo; A label worker writes a script that is submitted to Cranshaw Dropbox, which he checks regularly. “I try to be ruthless,” Cranshaw said. “But if you can make it with First Gate, I’ll support you, because we need to develop artists. Since we have a lot of shows, we need to support artists and help them become popular because it helps us perform.
Today, Dirtybird has a full-time staff of half-a-dozen people যদিও although, true to form, Crenshaw’s Absolutely Not sure how many people are under his umbrella. The label is divided into different sections, and the Cloud Vonstroke project represents its own division within the company.
Perhaps the biggest change is that since 2014, Andy has been reasonably managing the show. “One of the reasons Dartbird works so well is that we have a really strong partnership,” says Craneshow. “I would even say that he does more than me at this point. I’m trying to make music, but he’s really like the captain now, and I’m on the ship. Which is fine by him, after running the operation himself year after year. “When Andy came on board, I realized how stupid I was. What if we could actually get employees by spending some money and more than one person? That’s when it exploded, to be honest. ”
And the 2020 Dirtybird can certainly do a lot more than one. The biggest element of the label business these days is its phenomenon. For the past six years, the Dirtybirds have been camping in a lakeside park a few hours west of Yosemite for the Dirtybird Campout, a four-day redevelopment of the summer camp experience বার barbecue, mentors, scout uniforms, everything. “Campout is the best presentation of our label, not the bar,” says Cranshaw. “That’s it. The whole feeling of what we’re doing is at that one event.”
But VV is also extroverted. “My favorite kind of story, which I hear all the time, like, ‘Hey, we went to CRSSD and we saw these other people in Dirtybird T-shirts and we went to them and now they’re our best friends.’ Or, ‘Now we’re married Doing, ‘or something,” Krenshaw wonders. “We like this community aspect of the label. I don’t know why, but the fans have created a vibe where if you know that a person is listening to Dartybird, you’re going to talk to them and it’s totally nice. ”
At this moment in our call, Aundy makes a sound from the background. “We want to involve fans in everything we do,” he says. “So it’s like,‘ Oh, do you have a merchant idea? Where should we bring our next barbecue?
Picture of Dirtybird Campout, courtesy of Dirtybird Records
There are many choices, too. Expanding on the Campout Campaign, an indoor event at an all-inclusive resort in Florida. The festival in Croatia and the official Dartybird tour of Brazil have been discussed, the motherland of numerous Dartybird artists.
And of course Dartbird Vibe remains the main communicator of music. Just in time for the label’s 15th anniversary, Cranshaw released his fourth album, Freaks and Beeches-This is the first full-length in seven years. He describes it as a throwback to the early years of the label and the hodgepodge of effects that falsify the word Dirtybird. It also insures against entry into the box.
“I was starting to get demos, and they all like,‘ shake your booty ’,” he says. “I wanted to set the tune for the next 15 years and be like, ‘Listen, you can like the tracks. This. All kinds of accessories. Super euros, super bangs, really deep, obscure electronics – everything. All right. You can send them inside. ‘Because as long as you do the label, the demo will be tunnel vision, like – Oh my God, if I have to hear another, like,’ Shake it, shake it ‘! If I could say one thing about the demo pile, don’t send a track like ‘Work It’ or ‘Jack’ or whatever. Just don’t do it! Just change the title, even if it is! “It simply came to our notice then.
– Philip Sherburn