Today is a very sad day for dance music. Detroit pioneer Mike Huckaby has died.
The cause of death isn’t known. Back in March, Delano Smith started a GoFundMe for Huckaby for what was described as a "medical setback." It isn’t clear if the cause of death was related to that, but we will update when it is known it is known. The music business can often seem glamorous for those at who have had success, but those who create the most important art often do not see the financial benefits.
According to a statement given to Pitchfork by booking agent Daniel Liakhovitski, passed away from complications related related to stroke and COVID-19. “Mike Huckaby was an incredible talent and a beautiful soul. 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,” Liakhovitski said in a statement. “His legacy will forever live on in the hearts of house and techno music lovers all over the world.”
He moved seamlessly between house and techno, performing some of the smoothest sets you would ever see. He was a master selector, mood creator and producer. In the span of a few months we have lost two of the two great selectors, Mike Huckaby and Andrew Weatherall. It is a term that is overused, but they embodied it.
Huckaby was a critical early link between Detroit and Berlin. He leaves behind a legacy as one of Detroit’s most prolific label owners, producers, sound designers and DJs.
He was an active member of the music community in Detroit. Huckaby worked in the well-known Record Time music store in the 1990s alongside Rick Wade, Dan Bell, Claude Young and Magda and others. He led production workshops at YouthVille Detroit, educating the next generation of Detroit producers, including Kyle Hall who was a former student.
Huckaby was able to play whatever room he played. He was known for the deep house he produced and put out on his labels Deep Transportation and S Y N T H, while also not shying away from gritty Detroit techno.
Mike Huckaby was everything that is right about electronic music. He did this right. He was a great DJ, producer, mentor and most importantly person. Rest in power Mike. The next dance is for you.
As news has spread over the past hour, Huckaby is being remembered by his peers, friends and admirers across the business and music.