Raised in Detroit and based in San Francisco, Barclay Crenshaw created the quirky alias “Claude VonStroke” in 2005 and went on to become one of the most well respected label owners and DJs in dance music. His first release, ‘Deep Throat’ was a hit putting his imprint on the decks of DJs around the globe. A manifesto of sorts, it was the rare dance floor bomb that sounded as much fun to make as it was to dance to. But the real breakthrough came with double-header ‘The Whistler/Who’s Afraid of Detroit?.’ The 12” cemented Claude’s reputation as a producer to be reckoned with, crossing borders, genres and musical ears. The Whistler was embraced by the bass crowd, and at the same time sitting just as easily on the more 4/4 floors. Similarly, Who’s Afraid of Detroit? (a social comment about the unfounded fears of suburbanites visiting downtown Detroit) is now known as one of the classic dance tracks of the decade.
In 2009, he recorded a mix for Fabric’s venerated compilation series and released second album “Bird Brain”, which encompassed many diverse aspects of dance music and beyond. It included a collaboration with the legendary P-Funk bassist Bootsy Collins as well as two tracks that went to number #1 & #2 on Beatport respectively.
His label, dirtybird, continues to surprise and innovate in the underground dance scene. The label features an enigmatic combination of house, funk, dirty-bass and electronica. Since the creation of dirtybird, Claude has continued to be the dedicated A&R man, signing over 100 EPs and demonstrating his incredible ear for what works on the dance-floor. Staying true to Crenshaw’s detroit heritage, dirtybird donates 10% of its profits to a children’s music school in Detroit.
A lot of the success of dirtybird and VonStroke can be attributed to a good attitude. Claude VonStroke does not scowl and look mean while he DJs. He does not pretend to know everything and he truly loves his fans. He is grateful to be doing music for a living and he knows that the reason people go to parties is to shake their ass and have fun.
In this day and age of music cross-pollination, Claude VonStroke sits at the forefront of all that is good, proper and most importantly fun. He’s just as at home remixing Kenny Larkin or Infinity Ink as he is dropping multiple #1 Beatport hits. DJ wise, his relentless touring of every major city, festival and basement after-party around the world has only enriched this unique perspective on music.
This September, a much anticipated third artist album will come from the dirtybird chief - this time perhap a slightly more moody effort but overall still just as exciting and innovative as previous works.
“Urban Animal” mirrors the way VonStroke Djs - a wide range of house music with sprinkles of drum n bass, funk and soul. The album will be followed up by a massive world tour this fall starting in North America and travelling to Australia and Europe over the winter months.