Since he exploded on to the scene with the huge anthem ‘Let it Go’, Huxley has gone on to become one of the UK’s brightest electronic acts, and also one of the world’s most respected DJ’s. He has also released music on some of the scene’s most sought-after labels including Hypercolour, 20:20 Vision and Tsuba, and recently he released the huge ‘Widow’ track on AUS Music, a track which is already lighting dancefloors across the globe. On the eve of his return to Australia, we were lucky enough to catch up with Huxley…
So, you’ve been around for a while now; ‘Sassanids’ and ‘The White’ came out in 2009. What do you put your long-term success down to? Do you keep up to date with your peers are doing musically?
I’m not sure really, I think it’s down to not really sitting still for that long. I’ve always tried to move on and move forward in the studio, doing lots of different stuff, and taking inspiration from all over the place. I obviously listen to other house and techno, and there’s no doubt I’ve taken ideas from it, but really, I’ve found when I do that too much I limit myself and nothing that good actually comes out. It’s good to be on your own, have your own identity. I suppose that’s why I might have been around for a while, I wouldn’t call it long-term yet though, that kind of statement is for people like Sven, Richie, those guys are long term. I’ve only been here for a second. really.
You’ve played in hundred of clubs over the years, all over the world; are there any club or country you still haven’t visited/played at that you would like to tick off your list?
I’ve only ever done Curitiba, in Brazil in South America, so I’d love to travel there more and experience the crowds and the scene there. Hopefully that’s going to happen this year, though. Also I’d love to do more of Asia. Such as Shanghai, Hong Kong. I went to South Africa for the first time last month, and that was amazing. I love exploring new places and experiencing new things.
How did it all start for you? Is DJ-ing something picked up in university? What was the defining moment for you where you knew this is what you wanted to do?
No, I started DJ-ing when i was 12 years old. Or at least that’s when I first got decks. I got into young through old rave mix tapes and stuff. It took me a fair few years to actually know how to DJ, as at that time there was not really anything online to tell you how to do it, and coming from a tiny town, I didn’t have anyone to teach me. So me, my brother and a few friends taught ourselves. I think from that moment on, it was what I wanted to do for a job. I remember telling my friends very early on that this was what I was going to do. Thank fuck I was right, as I don’t have anything else I’m good at.
Has it always been house music? Or did you begin with something like drum & bass or garage? What is the guilty secret you listened to growing up?
Like I said, it all came from old rave, this was a mixture of old-school hardcore, drum n bass, jungle and also happy hardcore, which was probably my guilty secret. I then moved onto garage when I was about 15/16 or something. We’re lucky in the UK to have such a rich rave heritage, but some of the happy hardcore I use to listen to is so cringe worthy now.
You’re known to never stay in one niche sound for too long; is this a conscious decision or does the evolution occur naturally for you? Do you thing this has helped with your longevity?
it’s a bit of both, I don’t like to make the same thing all the time, it bores me, so I try and keep it as varied as possible. Sometimes, in the past, I have felt a bit backed into a corner and have had to make a certain vibe, but I can’t be fucked with that anymore, and I just want to make what I want to make. I find it fun developing new ideas and working on a new direction, it keeps it fun. The most boring thing to me would be making the same track all the time.
How hard is it to keep re-inventing your music to keep it fresh? Do you have a specific way you work in the studio or do you just let it come to you?
it’s just a process, like anything else. If you’re forcing it, then it will sound forced in my opinion, or just like someone else, both of which are as bad as each other. You just have to do shit you want to do, which is why at the moment I’m trying to do just that, I don’t want to be Huxley that UK House guy, because I never ever play that kind of thing anymore, I just want to be able to do what I want, which is something I think any artist should strive for. You’ve just got to hope people are into that.
The next project on the horizon is ‘No Idea’s Original’, can you tell us a bit more about what we can expect from it?
To be honest, the whole point of the label is that it’s just a good conduit to release great house and techno. I’ve got loads of great shit to release and we’ve got plans to do parties. Our first one is in London on the 12th of march with me and my boy Pierre Codarin.
I see you’ve played shows in Australia all the way back in 2012. What is it you like to get up to when you’re not DJ-ing on tour? Have you got anything planned in your spare time for the trip?
Well I have one day off this tour, so not so much, but one of my best friends lives in Sydney, so I’m going to chill with him on my day off this time. But normally I just chill. I walked around Sydney and did all the tourist shit, I’ve gone to some great clothes shops in Melbourne, I’ve not had much time to explore the rest of Oz to be honest. One time I come I’m going to actually spend some time and see some of it!
The tour kicks of on 18th February in Bali, is there any particular city on this tour you are especially excited to be playing in?
All of them will be fun. I’m interested to see Xzibit in New Zealand though. Melbourne is also always a highlight. I’m excited about all of it.
Thursday 18th February: W Hotel, Bali
Friday 19th February: XL Factory, Perth
Saturday 20th February: The Met, Brisbane
Saturday 21st February: Revolver Upstairs, Melbourne
Tuesday 23rd February: Hullabaloo Festival, Dunedin
Wednesday 24th February: Hullabaloo Festival, Christchurch
Thursday 25th February: Hullabaloo Festival, Auckland
Saturday 27th February: Chinese Laundry, Sydney