Moodymann – DETROIT’S FINEST
Moodymann, born Kenny Dixon Jr, is one of the most enigmatic, committed and reserved people in the house music world. By refusing all interviews, and distancing himself from the media, his aura has only ever become more interesting. Despite the fact that today he’s a successful music producer and heads up the label Mahogani Music, Moodymann actually began his working life as a record dealer. In his home town of Detroit he was a regular at all the record stores, which led him to meet one of the legendary figures of his hometown, Blake Baxter, a regular on the techno scene and certainly one of the most underrated producers in Detroit. Having been discovered, Moodymann soon became a resident at one of the most legendary clubs in his town: the Outcast Motorcycle Club. At this time, his stage name was ‘House’, not Moodymann, which certainly demonstrates a great love of the genre, but could possibly confuse people, especially on flyers…
Towards the mid 90s, Moodymann began to produce with Theo Parrish, the two representing the second wave of Detroit electronic music- the first being in the 80s, with the likes of Juan Atkins, Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson or even the aforementioned Blake Baxter.
Moodyman’s artistic productions are full of meaning and bring to mind the early origins of the genre, Detroit’s history and its music. It is often said that creativity is born from anguish. Derrick May once said that ‘In Detroit, you either become a drug addict, a drug dealer, a basketballer or a musician.’ Let’s bear in mind that in 2007, Detroit had more murders than Los Angeles and New York, cities with more than 8 million people … Something to be inspired by!?
And there certainly is inspiration in Moodymann’s music. A lover of soulful and classic jazz samples and long, slow, languishing bass lines, the producer demonstrates constant attention to detail. His music is not only for dancing but also to be listened to carefully, with the melody taking precedence over the rhythm. In a rare interview, the producer once said, ‘I don’t make music for the masses to dance to, I make music for the small minority that listen to it’.
That just says it all, doesn’t it?
Now let’s leave the music to do the talking. We’ve put together a selection of his best tracks. Let’s start straightaway with “The Day We Lost The Soul”.
Close your eyes, and let yourself be taken away by “Ya Blessin Me”.
Also, we couldn’t end without mentioning the 3 Chairs project, the group made up of Moodymann, Theo Parrish, Marcellus Pittman and Rick Wilhite, four producers of immeasurable talent who have partnered up to produce jazzy, soulful house music of high quality. Here are two tracks that were released on « 3 Chairs Project” vinyl.