BNB REVIEW: Justin Martin – Ghettos & Gardens

He’s been with the label since the very beginning and has been releasing quite a few heavy house music hitters ever since. It’s San Francisco’s Justin Martin, one of the most popular artists on Claude vonStroke’s Dirtybird label, and he’s about to unleash his very first album in the form of Ghettos & Gardens. Now, if you’ve been following this rooster over the past few years, you’re probably aware of the fact that he (along with the rest of the Dirtybird posse) doesn’t take himself too seriously. His releases, in that sense, reflects his personality as the fun factor never seems to be far away. Weird twists, oddly shaped melodies and genre-blurring sounds are the main ingredients for his music.

Ghettos & Gardens has become pretty much what we expected from a DJ such as Justin Martin. A melting pot in which a wide variety of genres are combined into 13 separate tracks, the album as a whole breathes Martin’s fun-loving antics while at the same time being credible enough to cater to demanding fans of house music. Opening track Hood Rich and Don’t Go can be called typical Justin Martin house tracks, but title track Ghettos & Gardens and his own remix of Goldie’s Kemistry do contain heavy doses of dubstep, a premonition of what’s to come. Now fusing house to dubstep may smell like cheese at first, but Martin actually manages to carve pretty awesome stuff out of it. One of the biggest tracks on the album is Ruff Stuff, an evil crossover supported by a bassline that’s as playful as it is dirty, and a great example of a solid marriage between house and dubstep.

Our verdict:
Justin’s debut album has become an incredibly diverse, fresh and playful collection of tracks that perfectly match the Dirtybird sound. Although riddled with heavy basslines, soaring dubstep bass and rough house grooves, each track on the album is marked by that typical fun-loving Martin sound in which twists and turns are never far away.

Rating: 7.6/10
Label: Dirtybird
Release date: May 22nd, 2012

1. Hood Rich
2. Don’t Go
3. Ghettoes & Garden
4. Butterflies
5. Goldie – Kemistry (Justin Martin remake)
6. French Kisses
7. Ruff Stuff
8. Molokini
9. Lezgo VIP (Justin Martin vs. Ardalan)
10. The Gurner (Justin Martin vs. Pillow Talk)
11. Night Calling
12. Riding Spaceships (Justin Martin vs. Leroy Peppers)
13. Ladybug