With the exciting release of the first Saints and Sonnets EP this week, it was time to catch up with head honcho and co-label founder Huxley, who since 2009 has been making a name for himself releasing tracks on the likes of Tsuba, Cecille Numbers and Morris Audio.
Kicking off, who was your first musical inspiration and why?
Well I first got into dance music when I was 11 but the first time I really got into the house movement was by way of UK Garage with people like Tuff Jam, Underground Solution, Grant Nelson and then onto people like Kerri Chandler, MAW etc. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly who got me into it but they’re some names I will always have love for.
What was the inspiration behind the creation of Saints and Sonnets?
Well I’ve helped out and worked for other labels in various forms for years, so this meant I’ve kind of built up the skills to actually run one myself, and instead of wasting that I thought why not put it into practice and actually do it. Saying that, I didn’t want to just start another label that is the same as everything else. It’s taken over a year until we were finally happy with the first release. The addition of Jimmy Posters to the label has really helped add that final touch as well, which maybe if it was all purely me, would be missed. We actually only met by chance at a party in Berlin I was playing. He’s a good mate of my agent and he introduced us. We stayed in touch and the rest is history.
With house music being prominent in the 90’s the turn of the century saw many derivatives break off from the genre which are starting to fizzle out, what do you think has contributed to not only the survival but the resurrection of quality deep house music?
I think music goes in circles to an extent, and although something may fall out of favour for a time, it’ll most certainly rear its head again in some shape or form. I think though, the fact that proper deep house has pretty much stayed of the same ilk and quality that it always has, and it’s always been able to maintain fans which aren’t of the ‘bandwagon’ variety, has meant that it’s been able to stay pretty true to its original form. Obviously there are variations within the style, but you can still find the stuff which inspired the whole genre being made.
The debut EP kicks off with yourself and Ethyl, ironically in 2009 you guys made your fist EP together on Cecille to much acclaim which kick started your producing careers. Can we expect to see more of this popular collaboration in future?
Well, we’ve done a bit over the past few years. Most of it being on Tsuba. But lately due to Tim’s move to London and mine further south, getting into the studio has been a bit of a struggle. We’ve not fallen out and still have a good working relationship in the studio, so I definitely think there will be a lot more music from us in the future. I just have no idea when at the moment.
Roman Flugel delivers two rather tasty remixes of ‘3 Feet High’ can you give Deep Absurdum any hints as to which other artists we can expect to see?
To be honest, we couldn’t quite believe it when Roman agreed to get on board with us, especially as it was our first release. We really couldn’t have asked for more from him. Coming up we have a wide range of people, we’re not just going for the obvious people or even people which are already massive. The ethos behind S&S is to release quality music in all forms. But, we have people like, Pattern Select, RNDM, BNJMN, J.Cub, Slow Hands, probably more music from myself and also a few new guys who we are massively into, such as Detroit Swindle (who are going to be 002) and Eve White.
What in your opinion measure’s the success of a label?
Releasing great music, that transcends current trends and will still sound great 10 years on. Also selling a few copies is always lovely!
What sort of advice could you offer fellow enthusiasts who are trying to make it on the scene as a producer/DJ or trying to get their own label started?
Don’t rush into it. It’s so easy to pick up a copy of Ableton or Logic these days and say you’re a producer. I can understand that you want to show off your new music, but becoming a real producer takes time and practice. Don’t just send out the first thing you’ve done, as it will probably be shit. Also, surround yourself with people who’s opinion you trust and who will give you honest feedback. I could send a tune to one of my mates and I have no doubt they will say they like it, but I know I will probably send that same track to one of the people who are honest with me and they will say they think it’s bollocks. Sometimes this can be hard to take as it can bruise the ego at first, but it’s something you will come across throughout your career anyway, so better to get use to it now. But, if you stick at it and you are doing it with a passion then there’s no reason you can’t succeed.
Label wise, just don’t sign mediocre music because it’s readily available! only aim for the best and remember it’s quality, not quantity.
and finally, Big clubs or smaller intimate venues?
They both have their plus sides. I love doing both. Although I have a lot more experience playing the smaller venues than I do the large ones!
Words by Jason Medley