The last 12 months has seen a resurgence in UK house music; not in the sense that traditional house music has become more popular, but in the sense of a new wave of house producers making a sound quite distinct from that which has gone before them. Alongside the likes of Julio Bashmore, Eats Everything, and Disclosure, Huxley‘s recent releases and well-renowned DJ sets have been a big part of the process.
Ahead of his show at the Girls Music event next weekend, November 30, we asked Huxley exactly what he thought about this shift, the way garage has influenced his music and his forthcoming releases on Rinse and Hypercolour.
How’s everything for you at the moment? Tell us a bit about the day-to-day life of globe-trotting house producer.
Well for the last few days I’ve been getting over this damn norovirus. So mainly my days have been spent in bed asleep but I guess normally it’s not that much different. Of course I’m only joking. Well at the weekends I tend to spend most of my time travelling, sitting in a hotel room or playing. During the week though I normally work on music, have some meetings, do some work on my label or do something else music related, like interviews or whatever. I like to work in a kind of 9-5 basis, even though my time is at home or in the studio. I’ve never been one to work nocturnally or whatever. In the evening I just want to shut off and chill out.
You’ve already released on a wide range of different labels. Is that for any particular reason?
Not really. It’s just happened that way. I think now though I’ve found a few labels that I have a good working relationship with that I think I’ll most probably stick with for a while.
How much variety do you see between all the material you’ve put out?
Quite a lot. It’s all pretty different I suppose. I find it hard to sit down and make the same track over and over, or even genre. I think it works better when you sit down and just make what you’re feeling at the time. Sometimes it’s garage, sometimes it’s house or maybe even techno or some downbeat stuff. I like to keep it open.
Your style of house sounds heavily influenced by garage. True? Which particular artists and releases helped shape your production to where it is now?
Yeah, definitely true. Growing up with a background so heavily influenced by garage, it was almost inevitable. The artists which most helped shape my current sound are pretty varied. People like MJ Cole, Wookie, Sunship, Grant Nelson, Tuff Jam, El-B. Then I think the likes of Kerri Chandler, Chez Damier, Mike Huckaby etc are also massive influences on the sound I’m making now -house-wise anyway. To be honest I’ve always listened to a wide range of stuff. These are just the names which jump into my head when answering these kinds of questions.
And which more recent garage artists are you feeling?
I couldn’t answer this question without first mentioning, Disclosure, obviously. This year has been their year. Then Lorca’s stuff and the new Jimmy Edgar thing, JETS is really ace too. I think it’s quite hard to define what’s garage and what isn’t. Some people would say I’m garage, but I see myself as a house producer really, just with garage inflections.
How much do your sets vary depending who else is on the line up? What can we expect from your set at the Girls Music Party?
I do vary sets, but normally due to the crowd more than the other djs. Yeah, I think you have to keep in line with the music policy but if I just played a head downs tech house set or something then people wouldn’t really be getting a Huxley set. I think at Girls Music the line-up is so varied that we’ll be able to play all over the shop. I think it’s going to be very fun!
UK house music has seen a real surge amongst young people over the last year. Is this more a case of lots of people only just getting to know the genre, or has the genre evolved to attract more young people?
Bit of both in my eyes. I think that the music has maybe become slightly more youth friendly, but then I also think that there’s so much good UK electronic music around at the moment if it wasn’t getting bigger it would be weird. I think there was a bit of a slump when it came to good UK music for a while, maybe the music was just as good, but the coverage and the audience wasn’t there for it. I think people are a lot more open to experimental or diverse music now. You get the people who love indie, but then will come to every garage or house event going. It’s a good time in the UK at the moment.
Finally, what can we hope to see from you in 2013?
Erm, the next thing coming up is releases on Rinse and Hypercolour. Then after that i’m kind of starting to work on my album. I think that’ll be my focus next year. I’ve decided i’m not doing any remixes, unless the right one or two come a long, as this year I really haven’t actually made that much of my own music. Also just carry on with the gigs, got some great ones lined up already in 2013, like Snowbombing and Hideout, and loads more to be announced. I hope I can just build on what I have done this year.
Huxley plays in the Church room of the Girls Music night on November 30. Buy tickets here.