Huxley: Interview

Apogee first brings you Michael Dodmam aka "Huxley". The man from Tring is topping a non stop rise in the UK house & garage sound that is taking the world by storm. Working with a range of acts like Jonny Cade, Sam Russo and Ethyl, Huxley is the man that is always trying to improve his sound by marrying with others. Mad scientist springs to mind because as the experimental value of his productions has only bred success. If you need a lesson or two in the art of DJ production then Huxley is bar far one of the best teachers

1) Can you tell us about your record label Saints & Sonnets? Where did the name come from? How did it come to fruition?

Not really sure, really, the name kind of came from nowhere. Unfortunately there's no deep meaning behind it, other than I thought it sounded good. Shame Iím not deeper really. The label itself though was born out of me working with loads of different labels, in various capacities for years. I even had my hand in running a few, but they were never completely my label or vision. Saints was something that I could put my own stamp on. Luckily enough I met my partner in crime, Jimmy, and he pretty much has the same ideas as I do when it comes to direction, promotion etc. Also he has a great work ethic, which can really help a lazy bastard like me out, sometimes.

2) Youíre a child of the UK & US garage...Do you try and keep that essence in your production? Can you name a few of the specific influences?

Yeah, I suppose it does. In fact I guess it's pretty clear at the moment. Especially the last couple of things Iíve finished. There was a time I tried my hardest to stay away from that sound. But in the end I just thought fuck it; why not incorporate it into what I do. Embrace it, if you will. End of the day loads of people make straight up house, probably better than I do, so why not try and stand on my own (even if it's just a little bit). I guess specific influences would be people like Tuff Jam, MJ Cole, Wookie, Nu Birth, Craig Mac, Kerri Chandler, and Dem 2. The list just goes on and on. I'll just leave it there for now.

3) You are a man of many collaborations...What makes you enjoy partnering up so much? Are there ever any clashes? Can we expect to any collabs coming soon?

I don't know really. I like the idea of music being about more than what you're actually making, but the collaborative process that gets you there. It can get kind of lonely just sitting on your own in your room or a studio or whatever. Plus I have a few good mates who are also great producers, so why not work together? Saying that though, I do like working on my own as well.

4) Both Mixmag and DJmag have tipped you as one to watch in 2012 has this affected your view on where you think the scene is going? Has it made you strive to raise your game even further?

I don't really think about where the scene is going, to be honest with you. I just try to watch Iím doing. Obviously, you have to pay attention to an extent, but I try my best not to just make trend following, throw away music. Being mentioned as one to watch is a nice feeling, but at the end of the day you have to prove it yourself. There's no use in having being touted as that and then rest on your laurels and just expect it all to happen because of one nice piece in a magazine. So I suppose my answer, is yeah, it has made me think more about my music. Itís just more pressure. Whether or not that's a good or bad thing though, we'll have to wait and see.

5) Can you give 5 Artists who you pip as the ones to watch?

Artists, in no particular order, Detroit Swindle, Sam Russo, Jonny Cade, Ejeca and Dusky

6) House music and electronic music in general have many sub genres. Are there any that you would like to experiment with in the future?

Iím currently in the process of writing an album with a few friends, Jonny Cade, Jonjo Williams and Ria Moran, that isn't anything to do with house. Hopefully we should have stuff to show soon. It's a lot more of a live/alternative edm kind of thing.

7) Simon Cowell (snore) is set to unveil his new DJ talent show this year... What effect do you think this will have on young aspiring DJs?

I think for real djs and music lovers, it'll have fuck all effect. The only people that will be drawn to it will be people who aren't in it for the right reasons anyway. Just fame hungry idiots. Lets be honest, even if they are any good, no one is ever going to take anyone from that show seriously. Itís like career suicide. Theyíll just end up playing Oceana and awful places like that.

8) Digital mixing using programs like traktor and serrato are becoming more and more popular. Do you still use traditional equipment and what are your preferences?

Iíve just stuck to cds mainly and a bit of vinyl every so often. I still buy a fair bit of it, but just can't be bothered to carry it about most of the time. I might get traktor, but at the moment Iím pretty happy with cds. It still lets you feel part of it, rather than having your face in a laptop with a predetermined playlist.

9)So Sunday comes around after a heavy Friday and Saturday. What would your ideal lazy Sunday consist of?

Doing absolutely sod all. Chilling out, playing football manager, watching TV and eating a mountain of food. Preferably of the fried variety.

10) Which musician from history would you most like to party with?

Frank Sinatra seemed to know how to throw a bit of a party.

11) Do you still keep in touch with friends from your younger days growing up?

Well, I live with 3 of them. So, yeah...

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