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Martinez Brothers Interview: Can’t beat a Liverpool crowd

We caught up with house and techno siblings The Martinez Brothers to talk Circus, Ibiza and jamming with Seth Troxler.

Jimmy Coultas

Date published: 25th Apr 2014

Image: Martinez Brothers

When the Martinez Brothers first blew up, it was an almost unfathomable concept that raves could be soundtracked by, well, kids. Electronic music is a genre hinged on youth, dancefloors are predominantly populated by young adults, but it was rare to see that flow of fresh blood behind the decks and the boards.

TMB aided the change of that view, as fresh faced teenagers they first came to prominence via Dennis Ferrer's record label Objektivity, their bass heavy gospel tinged grooves belying their tender years. It was little of a surprise when the revelation that their father was a Paradise Garage regular followed their hotly loved productions and Dj sets.

Fast forward eight years and the duo sit on the cusp of the electronic music elite, whilst teenagers in electronic music is the norm, with Bondax, Disclosure and many more littered across the scene. Their DJ sets have become infamous across the globe via a hugely successful residency at DC10 (check their recent Essential Mix above), whilst their productions have propped up stellar labels and imprints such as Saved and Crosstown Rebels.

They're part of a huge May Bank Holiday bill at Yousef presents Circus in Liverpool on Sunday 4th May at East Village Arts Club, where they will join Yousef and a cast including Davide Squillace, Nicole Moudaber and Harvey Mckay. We caught up with the duo  to see what the summer had in store for them.

Hi, thanks for speaking with us! You're off to Circus in Liverpool again soon, how much do you enjoy the city and playing for Yousef?

Circus was one of those places we always wanted to play, and since we have done it never fails. We’re always happy when our brother Yousef invites us back to play. Can’t beat a Liverpool crowd either.  They’re always up for it.

Where else can we see you in the UK coming up?

We play five cities in two days. It’s crazy. London (Fabric), Brighton, Newcastle (Shindig XXII), Birmingham and Liverpool for Circus. Catch us while you can. We’ll be in each city for literally our set time only, then back into the car. Also playing Global Gathering, Lovebox, Creamfields, We are FSTVL this summer. We’re there a lot. 

How did you get into production and DJing? Was there a certain record, or certain night that made you realise that this is what you wanted to do?

There wasn’t just one thing. Our dad introduced us to Timmy Regisford’s DJ sets, he had a mix show on the radio at the time but we were really young. We also played with Victor Rosado who was a resident at Paradise Garage.

Later when we went to Berlin and Ibiza we got more influenced by European techno and music we didn’t hear in NYC at the time as we grew up in the soulful house scene. Musically we grew up playing in the church band so we always loved the art of playing music, it’s been, and still is, a journey of discovery. 

Tell us about your recent project ‘Tuskagee’ with Seth Troxler. How is it going, and what can we look forward to from it?

We’ve been working on music together in NYC. We share a lot of the same cultural references and we naturally vibe with him as a person, in the studio and on the decks so it’s easy. We’re releasing one track in a few months that will be on vinyl only.  

As well as that we’re working on clothing ideas for merchandise and then we DJ together. So far we played BPM and Space Miami, and there’s a real chemistry between us all when we play.

What are the major differences between the scene back in the Bronx and here in Europe? How did you find adjusting and how have you enjoyed the experience?

There isn’t a house music scene in the Bronx. Everything is in Brooklyn or Manhattan. There are fewer differences now as more clubs have opened and European DJs are playing here every weekend now. We actually live in Queens at the moment. We’re on the road constantly and live half the year in Ibiza.

Your rise to prominence has been drastic, particularly since your DC10 residency began. What is it that you think people love about The Martinez Brothers? Can you pinpoint what it is that makes you guys stand out so much?

We do what we love so hopefully that gets across. It's that simple.

On the topic of DC10 - what's the score with you guys and Ibiza this year?

We’re playing there every couple of weeks this summer.

And finally, have you any new releases in the pipeline that we can look forward to

As well as the Tuskegee release with Seth, we've got a collaboration with Point G (DJ Gregory) called “What’s The Point?” featuring our bro Filsonik on the mic.  The first release from our own Cuttin’ Headz label, which is our hip hop project) which will be coming out early summer too. 

Check the Cuttin Headz rework of Notorious B.I.G's 'Machine Gun Funk' above. The Martinez Brothers play Yousef presents Circus in Liverpool on Sunday May 4th - more info here.


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