Music nerds are a strange breed. Whether its the internet, dusty music stores, or even their girlfriends parents music collections, they are always searching. Never content with their own vast collections of music much of which they rarely play, the music nerd is at much at home in a noisy night club as they are in quiet contemplation with headphones on staring at the mid week rain through their bedroom window. Real Gone Kid is a music nerd and he celebrates that fact with deep thought provoking, melodic DJ sets. As director and A&R manager for Decoded Magazine, he also has a unique view of how the scene is evolving and can really help the careers of artists he feels passionate about.
Real Gone Kid aka Simon Huxtable, started out as an indie kid who liked Nirvana, Brit Pop and Bob Dylan, but he felt he was still looking for that ultimate musical release. Then, in 1991, he heard Future Sound of London – Papua New Guinea and his world changed.
In those early days he couldn't afford turntables, so he would record music from the radio and make pause tapes of his favourite tracks. He got his first set of decks in the winter of 1997. They were Soundlab DLP 32s; belt drive and a nightmare to mix on. He practiced religiously for 18 months, giving away mix tapes and getting his friends to let him DJ their house parties, then gigs started coming along with residencies at some local bars. The residencies, glamorous as they sound, were in chain pubs which wanted a ‘happy upbeat party sound’, that didn't always sit right with Simon, as he wanted to showcase the amazing music he was finding and educate the public away from the dull 90s pop they were being drip fed. That meant he had to learn to build the night over 3 or 4 hour sets, occasionally slotting in tracks which excited him, while at the same time keeping the crowds and the bar managers happy. Playing these extended sets also taught him valuable lessons about how to warm up a crowd, read their reactions and how to take them on a musical journey without playing hit after hit. After a few years Simon began to land gigs at local night clubs playing alongside some of the countries best DJs which lead to guest appearances at festivals and bigger events.
Around 2002, Simon began using a sound design program called eJay 3 - it was really basic, but he quickly learned how to arrange tracks and work with layers to create a cohesive whole. After a long break in production, due to increasing work demands, he moved onto Ableton. With no musical heritage or formal music training, Simon had no idea about MIDI, or writing music, so he made bootlegs and after locking himself away to really learn Ableton inside and out he got noticed by some well known producers and artists who liked his take on the progressive sound. Networking and building relationships with some of these folks led to his first release for Melbourne Singer/Songwriter eM, with a track called 'You Don’t Know (RGK Reinterpretation)'. Fortunately, the paying public agreed and he made the record labels top 10 sales on Beatport and the artists’ top 3.
Having had some success, Simon’s attention has changed to giving back to the scene, which started with a small podcast aimed at giving the stars of the future a chance to raise their profile in an industry rife with PR white noise and fake DJs. He wanted to show the world and himself that there were still DJs out there that played music for the love of it, rather than to become famous or make money. The podcast was called ExposureUK and ran for 3 years, he met some fantastic DJs and as a point of pride would travel the country to see them live before he considered them for the podcast, such was his devotion.
That devotion got noticed by some important industry people and he was introduced to Bootleg Social and Musicology director Damion Pell who was, at the time, toying with the idea of a new website. The rest they say, is history…