UK House scene's Michael Dodman aka Huxley is a DJ and producer who's not afraid to mix together what many might say isn't possible. He is as versatile a producer as he is a DJ: although he tends towards a bass-driven, groove-fuelled UK sound, his tastes and sensibilities vary tremendously. Huxley let us in on a sampling from the wide range of tracks that have influenced him throughout the years. From hip-hop to rock, 2-step to soul, and disco to German minimal tech house, here are The Ten From Huxley:
Dem 2 - Destiny
For me, this is the best 2-step track ever made. Dem 2 were on top of their game at this point, with Destiny and their mix of U.S Alliance - All I Know (Da Grunge mix). It was hard to pick between the two, but I think this one has more memories for me. It was on the UK Garage record label Locked On, which was seminal for me. They released so many classics and so many great records. I use to love dropping this one.
Nas - You’re Da Man
Now, I could have picked any Nas track, but for the purposes of this interview I went for this one. Although most people won’t agree with me, I think Stillmatic is his best work (most people go for Illmatic). Every track on there is a killer: ‘One Mic’, ‘Ether’, ‘Destroy & Rebuild’, and also the track which inspired my new record label, ‘No Idea’s Original’.
Shabaam Sahdeeq - Arabian Nights
I found out about this track from the legendary Soundbombing vol.1 Mix tape that came out on Rawkus. I’ve still not got a full-length copy of this track, only one from this mix tape and also another one. But I love everything about this track. It’s one of my favourite samples ever and Shabaam’s vocal complements it perfectly. For me, he should have been a lot bigger, but then again, I guess real hip-hop is underground anyway.
Bobby Caldwell - What You Won’t Do For Love
This has to be my favourite song ever, bar none. I could listen to it on repeat all day. I couldn’t actually believe he was white when I heard this, such soul to his voice, it was a shock. But I think this is almost the perfect song, great lyrics, I love the music and the horn part in particular is brilliant. It’s been sampled and covered many times, but none of them stand up to this version. Just magic.
Armand Van Helden - You Don’t Know Me
I’ll probably get some stick for this, but I think this is the greatest vocal house record of all time. Again, heavily sample-based, but the way he’s used it creates such a vibe and an energy, and Duane Harden’s vocals are a perfect fit. I never get bored of this record.
S.I.A - Little Man (Exemen Remix)
Going from the best vocal house record to the best vocal UK garage record. Wookie’s use of tough basslines and off-kilter percussion was always up my ally. I loved his instrumental bits like Storm and Far East as well, but this is my pivotal Wookie record. The bouncing, rough sounding bass aligned with the dark organs and steel drums, and S.I.A’s vocal on top - it always struck a chord. This also has a lot of memories for me because when we use to run parties, this track and Jameson - Urban Hero were always the stars of the night.
Moving Fusion - Turbulence
This was THE record from around the time when I was about 15/16 and I started to buy Helter Skelter and slammin’ vinyl tape packs. My friends and I tried to find out for a long time what the track was, living out in the sticks with no one else who was into the same scene meant it was pretty hard. Then I actually bought it by accident when I got the 4-pack album by Ram. Needless to say, I was pretty happy with myself!
Jackson Browne - Take It Easy
This track, and a few others of Browne’s, really remind me of my family. My dad used to play a lot of his music during car journeys and Sunday lunches. We’ve actually all been to see him twice at the Royal Albert Hall, and he’s ace live.
The Prodigy - Diesel Power
The Prodigy were probably the first real dance act I got into. It was around the time of the Fat Of The Land album, so this is why I went for one of the tracks off there, rather than their older stuff. This was my favourite track on the album - an album where I love every track. It’s one of the few LPs I can listen to without skipping at all. I use to be a bit obsessed with them, and I finally got to see them live a couple of times a few years ago and they did not disappoint.
Patrick Chardonnet - Eve by Day
There were a few tracks from around this time I could have picked, but this one has always stuck out to me. This was released around the time when I was spending every weekend going between The Key, The Cross, Fabric, The End, etc. I loved this kind of sound, the melodies and the progression always worked for me. Such a great record and it’ll forever remind me of some of the best times of my life, spent wasting away the hours with my friends.