The Martinez Brothers

by Claire Bosh

“The Art of Journalism N°1”*—Where the Ibiza Partying DJ Duo Sits in for Hunter S. Thompson During his Interview in the Fall 2000 Paris Review
For the majority of the our afternoon talk, the Martinez Brothers, Chris and Stevie, stood behind their sun-drenched decks, giddy, swaying to their acid house flashbacks belting out of speakers mounted high in the four corners of a fictional warehouse. We chain-smoked red Dunhills through a German-made cigarette filter (I ordered the filter on Amazon just for this interview; I don’t even smoke, really; it felt American, though, “an homage”*.1 to histories long forgot). Someone brought us three swivel chairs. The Martinez brothers forewent the seats. I took one. I swiveled to the never-ending beats, nodding my head. Behind us, women so attractive as to befuddle economists (seriously, once you are hot hot, is there any point in attempting to be hotter ? What’s the opportunity cost of going from a ten to an eleven on a misogynistic scale ?).

Behind the playboy nonchalance of the Martinez Brothers though, is an irrefutable observation: hella attractive people hella enjoy partying around these talented disc jockeys. Their gleeful ease will continue to enrapture partiers for sweaty-good-many nights to come.

How has your taste in music changed over your career ?

I think it constantly keeps changing. We’re always digging, and getting put on to new music, and old music and most importantly all types of music. It’s really good, especially when it comes to making records, because you have so many inspirations to draw from.

How do you continuously challenge yourself in making music ?

We get bored super fast and super easily and we never really get comfortable with a certain sound or anything, so we always challenge ourselves with different sounds. Buying different types of gear is a really good way to experiment and not stay stagnant. And like we said before, keeping an open mind when it comes to the music we listen to as well, which is where we draw loads of ideas.

What other DJs have you respectfully emulated throughout your career ?

When we first started out getting into this we were really big into Louie Vega and Kenny Dope, and people like Timmy Regisford who we always tried to emulate. Our style is a combination of our favorite qualities of all the DJs we admire we’d say.

What does originality mean to you?

Originality is being yourself, in whatever you do, and not giving a care about what people think of it.

When remixing a track, how do you balance keeping the essence of the original, but putting your spin on it ?

It really depends. We won’t remix a track if we don’t like it or if we don’t hear something that really grabs our ear that we would like to flip. For us, as long as you use parts, it’s a remix, so we try to keep open-minded.

“So what, in fact, was learned from that experience ?”*.2

We’re super into painting and drawing. Love going to museums in NYC or elsewhere, or if we’re stuck in the hotel room, you can find some heavy doodling going on. Definitely one of our favorite pastimes.

This is the [CTRL-C]+[CTRL-V] issue, what does copy and paste mean to you ?

Copy and paste is super important to art culture, and in a way, helps it to evolve. If Andy Warhol didn’t copy and paste, the art scene may have gone in a totally different direction. If people like Marley Marl or Pete Rock didn’t copy and paste, what would hip hop sound like ? C&P all day !

Tell us about your collaboration with Givenchy and Riccardo Tisci. How did it come about ?

It came about super organically actually. We met in DC10 where we hold a residency, on a night we were playing. We happened to be rocking Givenchy at the time and I guess he just felt our vibe and the music that night. Soon after we met up, and started working on tunes for the shows, it’s been awesome.

Photography: Dani Brubaker FOR art-dept.COM

Styling: Sean Knight for jedroot.COM

Grooming: Anna Bernabe for using Clarins Men

* Brinkley, D., & McDonell, T. “Hunter S. Thompson, The Art of Journalism No. 1,” The Paris Review, (n.d.).

*.1 “Ben Carson’s house: A homage to himself – in pictures,” Guardian, November 2015.

*.2 Brinkley, D., & McDonell, T. The Paris Review, (n.d.). † Original question read: What other types of art influence your music?