Moodymann DJ-Kicks Release Party

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24 February

It’s not too often that Detroit hero Moodymann (born Kenny Dixon Jr.) comes to Berlin.

This time, it was thanks to the crew at !K7, whose legendary DJ-Kicks mix series played host to Moody for its first installation of 2016. In celebration of the mix, which released digitally and physically in February, !K7 invited Moodymann, Move D, Flo Real, Quarion, and Andrés to ://about blank.

I arrived late, but just in time to catch the tail end of Flo Real, which was, for all intents and purposes, a strong opening set: a playful variety of boogie and languid, effervescent disco-house. It’s hard being an opening DJ, and even harder when you’re opening for Moodymann. It was clear that that was who the crowd had come to see.

Moody arrived right on time and ready to get down (and, it’s worth noting, dressed in red tracksuit and matching red bucket hat — a strong look in a sea of Berlin black). Safe to say that aside from his music, Moodymann is an artist of few words. He rarely gives interviews, and his first and only tweet declares his catchphrase in capital letters — WHATUPDOE? That’s okay, though. We’re happy to have his music do the talking.

KDJ brought us all over the map, starting out with old school soul and funk, the epitome of a “don’t get too comfortable” DJ set. You’d step out to get some air and he’d be mixing in a hip-hop bassline or a Paranoid London track, only to abandon that for high-energy disco, house, or boogie. At some point near the end, he dropped Dopehead’s Guttah Guttah (a feature on his DJ-Kicks mix), before jumping on the mic himself. Classic Moody. That said, for the first timers, there were a lot of confused looks passed around; if you’re a fan of KDJ’s music, his DJ sets can take you aback if you’re expecting to hear the basement house or gritty late-night beats. Best to just roll with it, in true Moodymann form.

Moodymann was the night’s star. The crowd thinned considerably after his set, but the gathering for Move D’s closing in the lobby remained high-intensity throughout. Move D kept to the tone of the night, letting loose with some proper crowd-pleasing disco tunes (including personal favourite, Change’s Hold Tight). Back in the MDF room, the event’s opener Quarion jumped back on for the closing set, and the end to a boisterous night that was a welcome departure from Berlin’s classic techno parties.