San Francisco's Dirtybird label specializes in dance music with a spring in its step, a twinkle in its eye and a sly grin. Helmed by Claude VonStroke, the Bay Area institution has spent the past eight years developing a singular style of giddy club mayhem. While house and techno are at the core of virtually everything Dirtybird does, the label's artists draw ample inspiration from the booming 808s of Miami bass, the swagger of hip-hop and the rippling cadences of vintage jungle. At home everywhere from sweaty basements to festival main stages to daytime shindigs in Golden Gate Park, Claude VonStroke and his flock of big-hearted party-starters have developed an unusually open-ended style that welcomes all comers: Their beats are crafted to the specifications of the most demanding trainspotters, but their ear for a clever hook, like their willingness to get a little bit goofy, appeals to the masses without ever dumbing down. Here's a sampler of the label's defining tracks.
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