Justin Martin is a silly guy. The intro to his new mix for Ben Watt’s Buzzin’ Fly label makes sure to let everyone know that “Justin Martin is here for you, ladies.” And the mix is, too, in its wealth of sexy techno and dirty house. It’s also a huge step up for a label that has been taking itself too seriously lately. Martin is just what the Fly needed, taking all of the more cutting-edge house and techno vibes from today’s clubs and cramming them into a single mix. He moves from deep to breaky to techno-tinged, old-school and booty-house in just more than an hour, and he does so with impeccable style.
The album heavily features Martin himself and members of his Dirty Birds Records crew, including Tanner Ross and Worthy. Early on Martin shows just what a whiz he can be in the studio, going from the deep buildup of his own “Nightowl” into the rave-tastic “Ghetto Train,” constructed almost entirely out of samples of locomotives. The real deepness comes midway through, when Martin Landsky, remixed by Sebo K, and Catz ‘N’ Dogz update classic synth-led jackin’-house sounds with a minimal flair.
Vocals are sparse, but they’re included on several cuts, usually with a simple line uttered or filtered and looped for added tension. The human touch keeps tunes from getting too bogged down in their own futurism. Some more hipster club sounds sneak their way in toward the end, as Martin provides his own “Crunk-Ill Hyphy” remix to a tune by Worthy that almost dips into Baltimore-club territory. Although the Buzzin’ Fly deepness winds its way in and out through the mix, Martin took plenty of freedom as far as injecting his dirty-house touch into a label mix for what’s usually a moodier label. The result is a killer mix that shows how much energy is brewing underground in the house scene today.