patrick-hinton
10th March 2013

Live: xxxy & Huxley

xxxy delivers a solid homecoming set as Huxley justifies his repuation as one of the biggest names in UK house
Live: xxxy & Huxley
An emotional return to Sankeys saw xxxy play a rapturously-received set. Photo: Benjamin Brady

9th March 2013

Sankeys

8/10

Sankeys holds a special significance for Manchester’s own xxxy due to it being the first club he ever attended during his musically formative years. This homecoming subtext adds to the occasion and his return is ecstatically received. With the energy levels starting high, xxxy has no reservations in immediately unleashing a string of anthems. The exultant ‘Tonite (Detroit Mix)’ is one of many euphoria-inducing highlights.

After cueing each track, the DJ’s left hand flicks away in an apparent nervous twitch, yet this anxiety is needless as the enthused crowd conspicuously display their enjoyment through unrelenting dancing. The intimacy of the venue allows for a peek at xxxy’s CD-J screen which reveals he has adapted self-productions for his DJ sets; the confidently titled ‘No More (Super Special Garage Edit)’ indicates his admirable commitment to provide a special show.

Huxley is a man at the forefront of the UK house scene. The reason for this is evident through his own releases drawing the biggest crowd responses of the night. Resident Advisor‘s inclusion of ‘Let It Go’ in their Top 10 tracks of 2012 is justified when the thumping beat instigates rapturous clapping. The range Huxley is capable of is exhibited by the dissimilar ‘Box Clever’ which builds and builds into a dazzling orchestration of piano chords and exuberant synth loops, with an Alicia Keys sample thrown in for good measure.

At times Huxley is guilty of overindulgence. His attempts to whip up a frenzy by dimming the sound before a crescendo drag on too long and this flattens the vibe amongst the assembled revellers. However, if you’re going to choose any song to save a floor then it’d be hard to improve upon the lone release of Daft Punk side-project Stardust. Not only does Huxley’s proficiency shine through with this selection of ‘Music Sounds Better With You’; the song’s title also succinctly summarizes my appreciation of each act tonight.


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