Dirtybird Garden Party: Claude Von Stroke, Justin Martin, J Phlip – Australia Day

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When house heavyweight, Claude Von Stroke was announced as headliner for an Australia Day party I felt like attendance was nothing short of patriotic. The San Francisco based Tech Funk record label, Dirtybird Records is famous for taking blossoming young producers under their wings and providing them with the outlet (and the affiliated parties) to share their filthy, deep, beats with the world.

Sydney siders were lucky enough to be invited into the Dirtybird nest to celebrate Australia Day (January 26th) by getting grimy with Justin Martin, J Phlip & Claude Von Stroke in the Ivy Courtyard.

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Dirtybird are well recognised for throwing parties that feature a high calibre of music acts; that is, they don’t chuck shirts off parties just for the sake of it. They prioritise music at all times and disregard any of the other fluff that sometimes gets caught up in the mix of things. Collaborating with the Chinese Laundry crew who have proven themselves to have a similar mind set meant that Australia day was no exception and an RSVP to the event meant you sure as shit know the difference between ‘who’s afraid of detroit’ and ‘put your hands up for….’

To be completely honest I was a little apprehensive about rolling along to the Ivy for Von Stroke. Something about the sheer juxtaposition of the music; deep, dark and dirty in contrast with the venue; white, shiny, sharp and dripping in prestige didn’t initially strike me as a match made in heaven. I needn’t have worried though, a Dirtybird party is a Dirtybird party.  And in the end the Ivy is capable of running a pretty schmick ship in the events department.

The crowd were pretty quintessentially ‘Sydney’, with that unique look that we so favour at the moment; inherently beautiful but strategically dishevelled…like sunlight filtered through dusty concrete. None the less we were all there for the same reason; to get sweaty and debaucherous to good tunes.

By early afternoon the party was in full swing as J Phlip, recently dubbed the ‘Princess of House’ smacked the crowd about a bit with her sassy, bass heavy tunes. At 3pm Justin Martin took over and served up his token smeary beats with an elasticity that visibly resonated with the crowd, leaving them suitably loose and lovingly amped for the final wind up of the day.

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What I love about Von Stroke is the consistency and cohesiveness of his music whether playing live or producing tracks for studio releases. He unapologetically constructs his music with an inherent haziness giving it a flexibility that allows it to continue in its evolution as it is individually consumed by audiences.  The foundational element for which is always gorgeously filthy, bass-heavy beat which loops and drops, meandering and winding as it goes. On top of that Von Stroke provides his audience with a platter of the seemingly unlinked abstract sounds he’s so famous for; fuzzy feedback, gurgling, scratching, cow bells, and of course his token whistles and chimpanzee screeches. Today was no exception to that rule and the crowd was slowly plied and Von stroked (hah!) into willing compliance.

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The close of Von Stroke’s set brought about the close of the Dirtybird Garden Party, but in true Dirtybird form the party went on into the night, pausing only briefly to relocate to the original deep house nest of Sydney; Chinese Laundry.

Thanks for getting filthy diiiiiiiirty with us for Australia Day Dirtybird!

Words – The Other Jess

Photos courtesy of Chinese Laundry.



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