A love letter to rave culture, ‘199X’ is the debut artist album from Anjunabeats stalwart Damion ‘Damo’ Houchen, also known as Genix.
‘199X’ is winning strong support, including from an impressive range of DJs including Diplo, Carl Craig, Joseph Capriati, Oliver Heldens, Joyce Muniz, Armin Van Buuren, and Above & Beyond.
Raised on The Chemical Brothers, Leftfield and Chicane, Genix has anchored his life to ever-evolving sounds of dance music. Based in the U.K., he became a resident DJ and promoter for The Emporium nightclub in Coalville, a legendary Midlands clubbing destination that hosted parties for John Digweed to Tiesto.
“I started to fall in love with dance music during the 90s as a young teenager. My mum used to listen to the likes of Nightcrawlers, Leftfield, The Prodigy and more on our holidays. Those sounds will always be a part of my love for dance music. I think they’re timeless and you can hear a lot of their influences in my productions today.
As a young DJ I spent every single penny I had on vinyl. I would often get on the bus to different places to go record hunting. Those were really magical times and they’ve shaped my sound as it is today.”
Those early musical memories and Genix’s 15 years of engineering and production experience have culminated in ‘199X’:16 tracks of chillout, house, techno and trance that harken back to the 90’s and early 00’s heyday of dance.
There’s blissed out breakbeat on ’Until I Find You’ and ‘I’m Awake’, both featuring Australia’s JVMIE; sun drenched piano house with Towera on ‘Be Free’; reverberating and cavernous trance on ‘Numb’ featuring the U.K.’s LYCA. woven between are high energy techno and trance floor fillers.
The LP is a departure from the sound Genix is best known for. Through the late 00’s and 2010’s, Genix was known for his textured, melodic trance production, and caught the ear of Armin van Buuren and Paul van Dyk, securing releases on both Armada and Vandit. Genix arrived on Anjunabeats in 2010 and immediately became a mainstay in Above & Beyond sets with tracks like ‘Aura’, ‘Destinations’ and ‘Black Water’ (with regular touring partner Sunny Lax).
From those origins, Genix has blossomed into a mainstay in the trance scene. As his stature grew, so did his approach to his music:
“There have been so many influences [on my sound]; DJs, producers, events and the thousands of records I’ve bought over the years. I don’t try to be any one genre, some people think I produce less trance sometimes, but if you have followed my career from the start it’s always had tech influences. I think any producer should stick to the sounds they love, if it makes me jump out of my seat when I’m making it, then that’s all that really matters.
My music is a representation of my personal taste, it’s my expression and my passion being put into sound. It really is an art and I just try to be myself, not a genre, not a certain BPM, just Genix.”
Genix’s Anjunabeats Worldwide 09 mix championed these ideas, an iTunes #1 dance album that took us from slow burning progressive to fiery techno, landing somewhere between a Global Underground and Gatecrasher compilation mix.
2020’s ‘The Light’ was a bullish electro-edged anthem alongside label mate Grum and hit Number 1 on Beatport’s Melodic Techno chart. DJ support Etienne De Crecy, Hi-Lo (Oliver Heldens), and Joel Corry followed.
These aesthetics are explored in depth on ‘199X’, with echoes of Sasha, Groove Armada, Orbital and Underworld all apparent.
“I was always very nervous about the prospect of making an album, even though I have released hundreds of singles and remixes. ‘199X’ was written during the pandemic, which gave me time to reflect and showcase what I’m all about. I wanted to compile a collection of tracks that really showed who I am and told a story in some way. I’ve produced so many club format tracks over the years so I decided to experiment outside of that.
People have heard Genix club tracks but I wanted to try and show where I came from musically, inspired by the sounds and records that I grew up on in the 90s. I found the whole process quite long as there had been a relentless amount of work gone into it.
I have to say I’m immensely happy and proud with ‘199X’, I wanted to make something that people would still pull out and listen to in ten years and it still sounds fresh.”
A polished DJ, Genix has performed around the world from festival stages at Creamfields (UK), Tomorrowlands, EDC, ABGT250, 350 and 450, to more intimate club affairs; Ministry Of Sound, The Hollywood Palladium, Warehouse Project.
These shows don’t live up to the heights of 5,597 metres above sea level though, where in April 2019 Genix set the Guinness World Record for the highest land DJ set, hosting a party at Everest Base Camp.
With Genix such a keen fitness enthusiast, Genix and Anjunabeats have partnered with fitness community app StrideKick for the X5 Challenge, an international collaborative effort to reach 100,000 miles (x4 times around the world over August 2 – October 10). Over 1,000 participants have contributed so far, with Genix running exclusive challenge DJ mixes via Apple Music Fitness. This target was smashed more than a month before the end date, and two days before the release of ‘199X’.
‘199X’ is released on 10 September as 2×12” vinyl and on all digital stores.