For someone who’s had such a big part to play in the progression of house music over the years, MOODYMANN (Kenny Dixon Jr.) has kept himself out of the limelight. Since the 90s he has gained a staunch, underground following, which has made him a cult hero in Detroit and worldwide. He has stayed mysterious yet a name that all music lovers know, which is something that not many producers and DJs have done so successfully.
Last year the Detroit spinner played at Invisible Wind Factory, one of Liverpool’s largest venues; this time round, it’s set to be a much more intimate gig at Meraki, one of the city’s most exciting, upcoming venues in the North Docks. The single room is stripped back and has that raw feeling to it, which a lot of the best new venues have gone back to nowadays.
Up beforehand is POOKY, and, similar to what we expect from Moodymann, he’s keeping the crowd on their toes with his selections, switching between acid-infused techno, psychedelic funk and even shifting on to Thundercat’s Friend Zone.
Almost an hour after originally anticipated, Moodymann makes his way behind the decks. The packed-in crowd are, by now, eager with anticipation. If you’re stranded the back of the room, there’s no way of getting to the front to get a glimpse of the main man – and even those at the front have to let their imagination do the work, with Moodymann’s bucket hat and black mask creating an enigmatic façade. “How are you feelin’?” are the first words we hear from that smooth, velvety voice as he slides behind the mic as he always does. The crowd is primed.
The selector fires into a set that includes an array of house tunes, like the flawless Transient by Mr G, before switching up the set halfway through as he veers into liquid drum ‘n’ bass. He keeps things on the right side of party, too, mixing into Kelis’ Millionaire before paying his respect to the city with The Beatles’ classic Come Together. The room stays packed, and no one leaves until the set finishes. When you experience a night with Moodymann, you can never be sure what music he will bring with him, but you can be certain that it will be a night you won’t forget too easily.