PublishedSat, 25 Apr 2020, 00:00
- The Detroit deep house legend passed away on Friday.
Mike Huckaby has died aged 54.
Speaking to Detroit Free Press, Craig Huckaby confirmed that his brother died at Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak, Michigan, on Friday, April 24th, from complications following a stroke. He also tested positive for COVID-19. Last month, Delano Smith launched a GoFundMe to help Huckaby overcome an unnamed medical setback.
"Mike Huckaby was an incredible talent and a beautiful soul," Daniel Liakhovitski, Huckaby's booking agent, told Pitchfork. "A giant of a man, deeply loved by all who knew him. Mike's life was all about music. Please listen to his tracks and his DJ mixes. His music speaks louder than words."
Longtime Detroit promoter Adriel Thornton spoke on behalf of Huckaby's family on Twitter.
For decades, Huckaby was a key force in Detroit dance music. As a producer, he carved out a singular brand of hypnotic yet soulful deep house on labels like Harmonie Park, his own Deep Transportation and S Y N T H imprints, and remixes for the likes of Norm Talley, Pole, Model 500, DeepChord and Vladislav Delay.
He first played Tresor in 1997 and was a crucial link between Berlin and Detroit. Up until the recent lockdown he maintained a busy touring schedule—he criss-crossed the world in 2019, playing over 40 gigs in eight countries—and he was also meant to play at this year's Movement festival back home in Detroit.
Beyond his own music and DJing, Huckaby had an immeasurable impact at home in the Motor City. He was a longtime manager and buyer at Record Time, working alongside the likes of Dan Bell, Claude Young and Magda. He also led production workshops at YouthVille Detroit, educating the next generation of Detroit producers (Kyle Hall was a former student) and eventually partnering with the likes of Native Instruments and Ableton. (You can read our Machine Love feature with Huckaby here.)
"All I can say is he was a truly humble ambassador for the music he loved," Record Time founder Mike Himes told RA. "Such a class act and he had a huge impact on many not just in Detroit but everywhere. He will be greatly missed."
Listen to Mike Huckaby's RA Podcast.
This piece was last updated on April 27th at 10:25 BST