Ibiza Voice Podcast 527 :: Doc Martin
Legend, pioneer, institution. Think of a descriptive DJ cliché to attach to an artist like Doc Martin and they all apply. From spearheading the early West Coast scene in the United States in the mid 1980s, to promoting warehouses, running record shops and seminal labels and holding down some of the most prestigious residencies in dance music history, he has done it all. This year he's been as busy as ever playing around the world at key parties like BPM or Movement in Detroit and back in the studio releasing and remixing for Soul Clap, Knee Deep in Sound, Get Phsyical, VIVa, No Fit State, Robsoul, Under No Illusion, Pokerflat and Classic.
Ibiza Voice: how did you approach the mix?
Doc Martin: It is a completely live mix. I wanted it to have that live in the club feel. Three CDJs, two turntables, and a Rane 2015 mixer. I was lucky enough to get it in one take.
Where do you source your records from these days?
I have bought from Discogs in the past. I do have a ton of well sought after records, but haven’t had the time to put them up for sale. I usually buy records when I’m on the road, or from various websites.
You must have an insane record collection. Describe it to us?
I would say it's about 15,000 plus in the house, and probably about 10,000 in storage. I tend to know where a good amount of the stuff is. So 'Organized Chaos' is a polite way to put it. [In terms of genres] I have everything from house, techno, hip hop, reggae, disco, new wave, etc, and I have everything from Sex Pistol promos to the latest jams.
You've seen it all in house music, what are your thoughts on today's house music scene?
Back when I started, I always wondered how big would this music get. It went from 300 [capacity] rooms to massive festivals now. I see pictures of people all over the world playing for enthusiastic crowds, and I’m happy for them.
You are one of the first wave of house DJs. If you could pick a favourite era from your career what would it be and why?
Such a hard question. Every era has a special place in my heart. Mid to late 1980s in San Francisco was a melting pot of people and music. You would hear everything from hip hop to early house. Also I got to to New York frequently to hear Frankie Knuckles and Afrika Bambaataa at the World, David Morales and Super DJ Dmitry at the Red Zone.
I moved to Los Angeles in the 90s. What made LA so special was people were up for anything. There was, and still is, a lot of warehouses. Also in the early 90s, I started getting invited to play in New York. Which was unheard of at the time. I was lucky enough to have played Disco 2000, Save the Robots, Sound Factory, Twilo, The Roxy, The Tunnel, and the Building. In the 2000s, I started playing frequently at Fabric and started my own traveling party Sublevel. I have to say even now that I’m having the time of my life.
Describe the house scene in California when you started? It sounded wild..
San Francisco has always been wild. I would play parties from Jean Paul Gautier to club nights. The fashion crowd at that time knew about acid house and house music from traveling to New York and Europe. In San Francisco it was so new and fresh people didn’t know what to make of it. There was a small crew of people who were into it though. I had some pretty big residencies in San Fancisco at the time so I would break new house, acid house, and garage in through the night.
That small crew started getting bigger. It was a mix of gay, straight, transplants from New York, Chicago, London and beyond. Believe it or not the hip hop crowd helped push house music forward as well. In San Francisco we were pretty removed from New York, Chicago, Detroit, and London. We had to figure it out for ourselves and came up with a very dubbed out hybrid sound of house music that matched the hedonistic vibe of the city.
You've toured with a lot of big acts like Grace Jones, Basement Jaxx, Daft Punk, Dee Lite or The Prodigy. Do you have a favourite story from these tours? You must have a Grace Jones story you can tell us?
I was lucky enough to do one West Coast and one national tour with Dee-Lite. I also got to tour with Dubtribe. I played two shows for Grace Jones. [One night] the person who was supposed to have been looking after her disappeared. She wanted to go out after her second show so we went to a legendary San Francisco club called The End Up. Of course I lost her, only to find her [later] naked in the club's fountain.