Please donate to help save PopMatters. We are moving to WordPress in December out of necessity and need your help.

Justin Martin: Ghettos & Gardens

John Bergstrom

The first "artist album" from the Dirtybird label's charter DJ is varied enough. Unfortunately, it serves up varieties of mediocre.

Justin Martin

Ghettos & Gardens

Label: Dirtybird
US Release Date: 2012-05-22
UK Release Date: 2012-05-28
Label website

In 2005 Justin Martin released the first record on Claude VonStroke's Dirtybird label. Since then Martin's name has become synonymous with Dirtybird as well as Ben Watt's Buzzin' Fly label in the UK. Given that background, Ghettos & Gardens, Martin's first proper artist album, is something of a disappointment. The title is clearly a reference to Martin's tendency to mix dirty funk and lighter, summery sounds, sometimes within the same songs. But where previous EPs and singles offered plenty of highlights, very little on Ghettos & Gardens really stands out. The title track encapsulates the album, for better or worse. Starting out with some pretty, swelling synth pads and winding up as wobbly dubstep, it comes across as two separate songs that happened to meet in the middle. The Pac-Man-sampling "Riding Spaceships" is a fun excursion in sub-bass electrofunk. Unfortunately, it's the exception on this mostly serviceable album.


Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology provider that we have until December to move off their service. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to fund the move and further development.





© 1999-2020 PopMatters Media, Inc. All rights reserved. PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.

Collapse Expand Reviews

Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.