“I don’t make music for the masses to dance to, I make music for the small majority that listens.” — Moodymann aka Kenny Dixon Jr.
Year after year, we encounter the same thing: the dusty, basement Jazz chords, the 70s and 80s golden-era Soul vocal samples and the bumping 909s. And year after year, no one quite manages to emulate that Moodymann style.
Kenny Dixon Jr. has been killing it since 1994 and along with fellow Motor City cohort, Theo Parrish epitomises the second wave of Detroit electronic music. From his debut album Silentintroduction, released under the masterful eye of fellow Detroit Techno pioneer Carl Craig for his Planet E label, through to the 2020 album, “Taken Away“, there are few artists in electronic music who can match Dixon’s output – this music has an identity that only true artists can achieve.
We felt it was time to celebrate over 25 year’s of greatness with a run through the tracks that we think are KDJ’s finest moments – here are the best Moodymann tracks.
I Like To Know
Featured on both the “Music Is…” and the “Inspirations…” releases, this is 9 minutes of classic Detroit house.
Kenny Dixon Jr. — Outerdrive
One of the stand-out tracks from the 3 Chairs project of Theo Parrish, Marcellus Pittman, Rick Wilhite and KDJ.
Joy Pt 2
An ultimate closing tracks for any house club.
Minimal techno KDJ style with some clever spoken-word Prince samples and a brilliant switch-up halfway through.
I Can’t Kick This Feeling When It Hits
KDJ turns one of Chics most euphoric tracks into a relentless heads-down groove.
Dem Young Sconies
Kenny takes an obscure synth record and loops it into a machine-driven, acid house monster.
Tribute (To The Soul We Lost)
Pensive chords, a hypnotic bassline and an abundance of Marvin Gaye samples. A dancefloor tribute to the Prince of Soul.
Clattering percussion and some glorious edits show the jacking side of Dixon’s output.
The often-overlooked b-side to Dem Young Sconies; paranoid chords loop over JB’s style funk samples.
U Can Dance If U Want To
Prince-sampling house banger, probably KDJ’s most upfront track.
KDJ loops up Idris Muhammed’s ’Turn That Mutha Out’ and layers over some explosive Gil-Scot Heron poetry.
Shades Of Jae
The Thief That Stole My Sad Days (Ya Blessin Me)
Sounds like a multi-musician live jam but we get the impression that instead, this is a collection of some of the best samples he’s ever used.
When She Follows
Deep 18 minute jazz cut on the often-overlooked Black Mahogani II EP.
The opening track from one of his key albums, Silentintroduction sets the tone for the magic ahead.
Bumping, loopy deep house from the classic Soul City label.
Norma Jean Bell – I’m The Baddest Bitch (Moodymann remix)
Long-time KDJ collaborator and key vocalist and saxophonist, Norma Jean Bell gets the remix treatment.
The closing track on the 2004 album of the same name – 8 and a half minutes of masterful sampling.
The Third Track
The flip side to the classic Misled on the 1996 “Don’t Be Misled” – a looping disco workout that will fill most floors.