Martin Doorly first burst onto the scene with the kind of career break that would usually be unheard of for a relatively new name DJ. In 2008 he invited Pete Tong to play at a warehouse party he’d organised in Huddersfield, who was so impressed by his opening set by the end of the night he offered him a slot on Radio 1’s coveted Essential Mix.
Over the last decade he’s built a strong profile in the UK and further afield by dipping his toes in many waters, going from releasing Ibiza house anthems for Cajual and Hot Creations to remixing household electronic names like Basement Jaxx and The Prodigy.
His studio collaborations include working alongside Cajual commander-in-chief Green Velvet, and when he brings his Reptile Dysfunction showcase to Farringdon next weekend, the Chicago house pioneer will also be joining him. Before he takes over curating Room One for the night, we got in touch with Doorly to show us where his musical head’s at right now. In his mix for us, he sent a selection of the kind of off-key club bangers you’d find on his Reptile Dysfunction label, and told us more about how his recent travels have inspired the imprint’s evolving sound.
I've been building my dream studio in Ibiza. It’s taken around six months as we foolishly attempted to start during the peak season, but it’s now looking and sounding lovely, so for the last few weeks I've been locked in there catching up on making music and having a wonderful time! It probably seems like I've been a bit quiet for a minute (because of moving house and no studio) but I've pretty much got a release per month dropping now for the next six months. This Friday my debut release lands on Crosstown Rebels, followed by a return to Relief with a collaboration including vocals from the boss man Green Velvet. In December and January I have singles coming out on Sweat It Out and Desert Hearts, and of course my own Reptile Dysfunction, plus several remixes. I go back on tour in two weeks, fabric is my last stop in the UK, and then I head right around the world to Fiji, USA, New Zealand, Australia, Asia, the Caribbean and Berlin.
Is there a theme to the mix?
There’s not really a theme, although now you have said that I wish I had picked one now! I haven't had a chance to do a good club mix for a while, so I decided to go that way instead of the more quirky funky stuff i tend to do in these kind of mixes. It’s in honour of the upcoming show with Green Velvet, and represents the kind of style I’ll be playing at fabric, so I just grabbed a load of the stuff I’ve been playing in my sets over the last few weeks.
Where did you source the records from?
Record shops, Bandcamp, friends, and a few other older bits I just found in my vinyl collection that has been gathering dust at my mum’s house for the last few years. I got excited when I found them, and it felt right to include some of them.
How did Reptile Dysfunction first come together?
I started the label for a few reasons. Firstly I found on my travels that there was so much incredible fresh young out there that wasn’t getting a shot. I regularly pass on great demos to labels that I think would like them and really enjoy when said artist breaks through, but there are often some tracks I really believe in, but can’t find a label for. It started to happen with my own tracks too, I was rapidly gathering a pile of tracks that I had made that were the biggest records in my sets, but I couldn’t find a label for that sound. I set up Reptile Dysfunction as a home for those tracks, for myself and the young talent I’d found on my travels. Moreover, I’ve been running the Doorly & Friends party for almost a decade now, and the concept felt a bit lazy. It felt too egotistical having my name as the focus, so I wanted something that gave me a licence to be more creative and make my parties more immersive. It’s hard work getting a label up and running, but it’s been so much fun, and we’ve put out some great music this year that I’m really proud of. We’ve also thrown some great parties around the world this year.
Can you talk about the line-up you’ve pulled together for the night?
This will be the first Reptile Dysfunction event. I guess I was saving it for a special occasion, and it doesn’t get much bigger than curating Room One at fabric! Inviting my long-time friend and mentor, the legendary Green Velvet, made perfect sense. He doesn’t play in London very often, so it will be special. I’ve also brought in Melé to make a real carnival of things at the end. Then two young superstars from Reptile Dysfunction who are making their debut at the club, Griff and Charlie Rope. I think everyone I know is coming out for this one, it’s going to be very special having our own personal crowd.
Finally, what’s in store for the label over the next few months?
Lots of ridiculously good music from artists you've never heard of. The DJ academies I've been running in Ibiza this summer have been an incredible talent spotting arena, and I'm so excited to share the stuff I've found with the world. We’ll also be dropping the second in our Think Sideways Edits Vol 2 on vinyl, the first one sold out and this one is even better! Somehow I’ve also licensed the rights to an absolutely seminal record from Paradise Garage. We’ll be putting together a nice remix package for that one – I can’t say too much but you will hear more soon…