Huxley Is ‘So F**king Bored’ of Deep House, Goes Hard on ‘Tail Wind’
The London producer also thinks technology is only as good as the person using it
London producer Huxley’s 2014 LP, Blurred, was a well-rounded sampler of wobbly low-end, distorted and distended vocal samples, and melodic threads weaving between garage slammers and drum’n’bass breaks. In the past year, however, he’s moved away from such a broadly appealing amalgam of the U.K.’s most impressionable dance music towards more underground sounds. “I started to feel like I was backing myself into a corner, and people already knew what to expect when they listened to a new Huxley record,” the 30-year-old tells SPIN via email. “For me, it was time to move on.”
His forthcoming EP, Widow (out January 29 via Aus Music), still covers a breadth of styles over the course of — and within — its three tracks. Closer “Tail Wind” is the heaviest of the bunch, its burly undercurrent surging like a rip tide in time with a relentless 4/4 pulse. Listen here and read SPIN’s interview with Huxley, who thinks the whole “just press play” argument is bulls**t.
“Tail Wind” is super heavy and dark. What were you listening to and what were your inspirations while recording it?
“Tail Wind” is actually the bastard child of a few different inspirations and pure accidents, to be honest! The whole track was really born from playing around with a DX200 that I was borrowing from my mate, Justin [Drake, of Peace Division]. I was just fiddling and came up with the warping/sweeping synth that plays throughout, and it all progressed from there. At this time I was also a bit obsessed with the [Irish DJ] Mano Le Tough Boiler Room set from last year and that’s probably where the inspiration for the string riff came from!
You recently tweeted that you’d start using an all-in-one controller to play live sets, which to some people is tantamount to “just pressing play.” How have technological developments like those impacted how you work in the studio and in the booth?
That’s not quite what I said — what I said was I might start using Traktor at gigs, and that I would maybe start using a controller. I’m at a point now where I’m interested in trying new things, and I do love the vinyl/digital integration that Traktor offers. I don’t think I’d just be pressing play, but then I think that is a stupid argument as well. I use to care about all that s**t, but look at people like Joris Voorn and Richie Hawtin. They both use controllers, and if anyone said they just press play, I’d piss myself. Technology is only as good as the person using it; it can be as creative or as functional as you want it to be. These days it’s all about offering more to the crowd, so if it’s there, why not use it?
How has your position in the U.K.’s dance music scene — and the kind of tracks you make — changed in the past few years, especially as deep house and tech house have been moving more into the mainstream?
I suppose that’s up to the crowd to decide. I’m making a lot less commercial music these days. I’m so f**king bored with the typical deep house sound, personally. I am loving the housier and techno end of stuff that’s happening at the moment. I can’t remember the last time I played a track that would be in the charts (Beatport or national), and I use to play quite a lot, I suppose. These days you can hear instantly when people just want a chart hit, and for me that sucks all my enjoyment out of it. But, this is just my opinion, and you know what they say about opinions…