Michael Dodman is the face of Conscious Competence both in and out of the booth.
Known professionally under his Huxley alias, the Brit has carved out a name for himself over the past seven-plus years with his biting house studio work and his dancefloor-burning DJ sets. No stranger to radio waves thanks to his famed Saturday night radio show on RinseFM (which spun its finale earlier this month), Huxley has remained an essential element of the European house scene and beyond.
Currently, Huxley is in the midst of a quick US jaunt that includes stops at San Francisco’s Audio, Denver’s Vinyl, and Detroit’s infamous TV Lounge. The tour comes hot on the heels of an absolute heater of a time period for the talented jock, who over the past year has launched a new imprint—No Idea’s Original—and kept himself busy with club and festival gigs galore.
This weekend, the British DJ/producer will take to the decks of San Diego’s CRSSD Festival on its central City Steps Stage and drop his new Unconscious Competence two-tracker on his No Idea’s Original imprint. In anticipation of the big weekend, we caught up with the man himself to chat about the EP’s creation, the formation of his label, and even the effects of London’s Fabric Nightclub’s shuttering earlier this month.
DJ Times: You’ve got a new EP on your No Idea’s Original label later this month. What went into its creation and inspiration?
Michael Dodman: Well the creation was me sitting in my studio! I’ve been doing a lot of writing this year and these two were my favorites—and quite different for me—so I thought I’d use my own label to put them out. The inspiration was the kind of music I’ve been listening to and the moment and also the urge to push myself, especially on the lead track [“Unconscious Competence”], which is quite a departure from my normal sound, more synth-led and electronica.
DJ Times: You kicked off No Idea’s Original last year with you and J.Phlip’s “What You Want.” Why’d you decide to tackle your own brand after releases with Hypercoulour and Aus Music?
Dodman: Well I’ve actually had other labels, but this was the first on my own. I wanted to do it as a reflection of what I was playing at the moment and also have the freedom to release stuff by myself that other labels might not want to or might not fit with how people see me as a producer!
DJ Times: You had a pretty emotional response to the closure of Fabric earlier this month. What sort of history did you have with the venue? What sort of effect does it have on the London clubbing scene as a whole?
Dodman: It has a huge affect on London. It shows no club is safe from this institutionalized view that London should be a sterile, culture-less hole for the rich and powerful with nothing left for the young or even the old who have different views to that of the establishment. My history with the venue goes back a long way to when I was 19-20 when I first stepped foot in the venue as a punter and it became my goal and changed my life musically. Getting to play there was a dream, so when I actually got the chance it blew my mind.
DJ Times; As a UK citizen, how does London’s clubbing scene recover and move on from a large blow like this one?
Dodman: In frank, unless there is a change in policy at a government level, then I don’t see it recovering. They need to allow more clubs to open and actively nurture the nightclub industry, like Berlin.
DJ Times: Even before Fabric’s closure, there’s been some shift away from London clubs over the last few years in favor of a bigger focus on festivals (many of which book shocking similar lineups). Why do you think that is?
Dodman: Because people scare easily and want to make money. They’d rather go for sure things, which is actually understandable.
DJ Times: What other projects do you have planned for yourself and No Idea’s Original in the coming months?
Dodman: Loads! My next single is back on AUS, and then after that I’ve been working on loads of aliases and other music, which will come out in due course. The next AUS [release] is also featuring Roy Davis Jr.
Stream “Unconscious Competence” below ahead of its release on No Idea’s Original on September 30 below. Grab tickets to CRSSD Festival at CRSSDFest.com