A reluctant globetrotter and a fierce guardian of his city’s musical heritage, Kenny Dixon Jr. AKA Moodymann is a hard man to lure out of Detroit.
An ever-illusive producer, DJ and rollerskating enigma, Moodymann has gained legendary status across Europe following a career of genre-defining releases on Planet E, Peacefrog and his own imprint: KDJ Records. A character like no other, it is rumoured that his Detroit abode houses one of the most extensive independent collections of Prince memorabilia around, as well as a private roller rink and club-level sound system.
“You come to my house and my vinyl collection there is in one category. You’d better know the name of the artist because that is the category he is in… alphabetical.”
Making true of this statement with each one of his selections at last Saturday’s RBMA presents Club Cosmos party in Liverpool’s Invisible Wind Factory, Moodymann’s set was anything but predictable. Not to be confined by genre or trend, the Detroit legend swung between 70s funk and 90s East-Coast hiphop, warmly filling the Kazimier’s cavernous new space with sounds from across the Atlantic.
Forever acting on his own terms, only Moodymann would possess the straight-up badassness to send one of his roadies on stage to mix out of the warm-up DJ’s final song…we presume because he simply didn’t wish to touch anything that wasn’t selected by himself. It’s these significant idiosyncrasies that let you know when KDJ is in town! Personally, I would entrust few DJs these days with a microphone…fearing Delia Smith-esque “Let’s be havin’ you,” type scenarios. But, with Moody on the mic, that infamous call of “WHAT UP DOE” lit up the dance floor something serious. With a shoutout to J Dilla on what would’ve been his 42nd birthday, Moodymann dropped into one of Dilla’s more industrial productions: ‘Body Movin,’ from his fellow Detroit homeboy’s posthumous LP The Shining.
With other cuts throughout the night coming from; Roy Ayers, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, LTJ, Fred Wesley and many others, the man from Detriot took his audience on a generous tour of his musical neighbourhood, top down in the passenger seat of his ’65 Impala.
Detroit really does hustle harder…