Not unfamiliar to the highs and lows of the music world, house music can proudly say that it has continuously proven to be an art form that is unafraid to face demands. It has proven this feat through, not only its ever growing popularity, but its diversity. It is this resilience that sees it hailed, time and time again, one of the most persistent forms of music and for this title it seems worthy.
There could be said to be several reasons for this, but perhaps one of the more key components is the music’s ambassadors or rather sculptors! These are the residents holding the genre down in order to mould it and reform it, constantly putting out material that not only captivates but moves entire generations. Very well documented and praised for their efforts, are the pioneers of the genre. They have been seen by many house lovers as gods, infiltrating intermittently the currents of the more mainstream media, but this, of course, leaves other beneficial figures to be left out of the picture. These are not quite pioneers but amazing champions, who have taken the genre out of the hands of its creators and pushed it to new heights through innovation, passion and a god like sense of energy. Over the next series of the ‘DJ database’ ‘The House Mason’ will be exploring the 90’s kids of house music or maybe more appropriately referred to as unsung heroes of house music, that posed as catalysts in the evolution of house music. Today,’ The House Mason’ brings you one those heroes and he goes by the name of ‘Dixon’
Born in 1975 in the city of Berlin, ‘Dixon’ is at the forefront of an army composed of talented and respected individuals. This army are not only keeping the genre alive, but breathing a refreshing new life into it. Growing up in Berlin to a working class family, the man himself states that being more interested in football meant music wasn’t really his passion during that period of his life. Starting at 6 years old, the youngster showed a great deal of dedication to the sport; leaving at 7 o’clock for training, attending school at 9 o’clock and returning to the pitch after school. With this experience came a great level of discipline. He reflected an understanding for the value of hard work with a “no pain no gain” approach and showed a persistence and a passion to match. Although his pursuit of sports came to a bitter end it is these qualities that arguably helped the DJ achieve success in such a saturated industry. He appears to be a lion amongst lions and appears likely that it is these experiences that have given him that edge to stay sharp and move forward.
As a teenager his focus on football kept him blind to the music trends arising in the heart of Berlin. As a consequence the booming sounds that had hit the city like a storm that era were unbeknown to him. It was during this time that electronic music and the techno scene were extremely popular. However, it wasn’t until he attended his first night club that he acquired the feel of music and like a hopeless romantic it was love at first sight. EDM became his addiction and like an addict he attended more and more of these events not once falling out of love with the genre. Initially finding it hard to distinguish the difference between sub-genres but he found that he favoured the softer vibes that captured emotion through soulful sounds and soothing vocals. This sub-genre later came to be known as ‘soul house’.
He finally launched his career as a house music DJ in the 90’s. The 90’s saw a boom in house music and for DJ’s up and coming it provided them with a chance to pave the way forward and forge a career for themselves. It was during his time with ‘Atari Teenage Riots’, however, that he came to realise that their more hardcore style was not one he felt best suited to. It was with this line of thinking that the young DJ returned to what made him fall in love with the genre in the first place; Soul House. Producing soulful tunes meant he was surely in his element. Moving at a furious pace, the apprentice swiftly became a master of his art bringing with it increased popularity amongst new found fans in his home city of berlin. The increasing hype landed him gigs at some of Berlin’s best night clubs. He became a premier resident, being offered stage at which he could show of his skills. It, of course, wasn’t long until the growing hype had recruited loyal and devoted fans that would return frequently to watch the DJ perform and although he had obviously mastered DJing, Dixon felt that it was time to grow and take on other challenges; challenges in the form of mixing.
It was with his off limits compilations that he was met with a much deserved popularity within the mixing circuit. This eventually led him to more fulfilling lines of work such as the exertions he did for music label ‘Get Physical Music’. It is this work that has been said to have given inspiration to people all over the world and more importantly captured the attention of fellow DJ’s. The next movement was to become a major influence on the house scene not only through his skill of mixing but through creating his own sounds, forming a stamp for which he would be remembered by. Once signed to a record deal with the label ‘Sonor Kollektiv’ he didn’t hesitate to establish his own sub label ‘Recreation Recordings’, which consequently lead to his signing of ‘Âme’ an act he had scouted, known for their deep house sound at the time. As a collaborative act the two brought hype to the label and through the continuous release of classic tunes, saw themselves rise to a new level of fame. The label had provided a base to continue the firing of hot and fiery tunes up until 2005.
It was in 2005 that Dixon sought to reinvent himself once again. The decision came following the decline in interest regarding the house music genre; this was substantially due to the clubland craze gaining more momentum. The shift in attention prompted several DJs to follow suit of the trend and begin venturing towards the growing clubland genre. However, taking the road less travelled, Dixon decided to attempt to rectify his current situation by ending the ‘Recreation Recordings’ projects to reinvent them under the reinvented label ‘Innervisions’. ‘Innvervisions’ was and remains to be, a collection of DJs and friends Dixon has collected through his travels around the globe and was originally founded in order to save house music. Once again history repeated itself, the relaunch of the label and the new collaborations were a roaring success. This could be attributed to the fact that the label had returned to ‘Dixon’s’ core values and the underlying roots of house music. Making production all about the purity of their music and creating untainted sounds. Some would still claim this to be ‘a breath of fresh air’.
Which eventually lead us to present day? These days, ‘Dixon’ enjoys life as one of the most celebrated house music DJs of modern times. He remains to this day an undisputed champion of the genre, carrying himself with unmitigated panache and style, never once disappointing fans. To top it all off, he has continued to show his fellow DJ friends and his foes exactly why he has earned his title. Taking on the task of saving a flailing genre in 2005, he has more than proven to have accomplished this challenge after being widely credited for the refuelling of the fire that is house music; the genre just seems to be doing better than ever. Managing to mix, produce and disperse the genre all around the world, there seems to be no end to this man’s talents nor his capabilities and accomplishments. In this year of 2014 ‘Dixon’ can still be found to be performing at various venues around the globe and needless to say, still making tracks at his self-made record label. Check out his music at the link below.