Justice for Justin Martin: Dirtybird Spearhead Suffers USB Theft
There is one dirty little bird out there.
Moments before Justin Martin—spearhead of the Dirtybird label—could take the decks at the sold out Dirtybird Quarterly show, hosted at San Francisco’s Mezzanine dance club, the house tastemaker’s USB mysteriously disappeared from the CDJ. The USB’s value is incommunicable, containing not only what Martin specifies as “years” of his “hard work,” but an exclusive folder of new “tunes” made “specifically for that night,” in addition to music created for what Martin calls a “new project” currently in the works.
The danger of the USB’s theft was multifaceted. If copied, Martin’s new musical initiatives would be compromised in terms of their originality. If unreturned, the USB—possessive of work that Martin had not yet transferred to backup USB drives, i.e. edits and unreleased material crafted carefully by Martin—would represent a permanent and irreconcilable loss in Martin’s inventory of sound.
Martin took to Twitter to advertise the theft of the drive, an announcement that engendered the support of Martin's Dirtybird label, which vowed to locate the missing drive.
After offering a reward of $1k for the return of the drive with a promise not to pursue criminal charges if the USB was returned by the thief within a 24-hour period, Martin’s booking agency received the stolen property via mail. The thief, whose identity will remain unrevealed but is known by Justin Martin and co., reportedly contacted Martin on Saturday—the day after the Friday evening show—to confess. In a statement released on Twitter in an effort to keep Dirtybird fans in the loop, Martin stated that the USB was once more in rightful possession. Clearly grateful to have retrieved the drive, Martin thanked fans for their support during the traumatic event, yet cautioned the thief. “If I were you,” Martin wrote, “I’d take a little bit of a break from Dirtybird events.” The full statement appears below.
The real wonder of Justin Martin materializes in the DJ’s perseverance. Although “the vibe of the [Friday evening] party was instantly put on hold, and [Martin] was forced to leave the decks temporarily [to] deal with the situation,” Martin did not cancel the sold out show in the midst of the seeming tragedy, but rather delivered a set to the best of his ability, an act indicative of Martin's dedication to fans, but on a larger scale, to his music. Justin Martin, who unabashedly emulates Oscar Wilde in his Beatport bio via the Wilde quotation, "life is too short to be taken seriously," is emblematic of positivity and verve, but if anything has been made apparent by the USB debacle, it's despite Martin's easygoing nature, you don't f*ck with Justin Martin or his label.