Moodyman : Forevernevermore

His name is Kenny Dixon Jnr and he makes brilliant, twisted house music...

Moodymann is a man so elusive he makes Lord Lucan look like an attention-seeking egotist. He shuns the limelight with the zealousness of a convict on the run – and thus inspires a level of devotion in his fans usually reserved for religious gurus and sons of God. You might catch him DJing but you’ll never see his face in a magazine because he never – ever – speaks to the media. But there are two things we know about him. His name is Kenny Dixon Jnr and he makes brilliant, twisted house music.

What Dixon does so well is to gather the best strands of Chicago House – deep, weird, jacking, funky, soulful – and mash them up into his own mesmerising and idiosyncratic stew. That’s why everyone from Stacey Pullen to David Morales has a Moodymann tune in their box. ‘Don’t You Want My Love’ is a timeless piece of deep garage funk, ‘Wednesday Night People’ smooths out with late-night body music moods and a secret unnamed track at the end whooshes along on a swell of wind tunnel bass. And just to mix things up ‘The Thief That Stole My Bad Days’ flirts with jazz and gospel to uplift the hardest of hearts.

The tracks – segued into one organic whole – are littered with off-the-wall samples, mad people ranting in the distance, answer-phone messages and recordings of small children rapping and rhyming. At one point even Led Zeppelin’s ‘Stairway To Heaven’ can be heard faintly wafting into earshot. But it all makes some sort of perverse sense. For that’s Moodymann’s strength, the ability to make the weird, perverse and unusual sound like the funkiest act in town.

Kieran Wyatt

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