NEW ERA X MOODYMANN
Detroit inspired capsule collection and exclusive documentary.
“NO MATTER WHERE I AM, I ALWAYS HAVE DETROIT DUST AND DIRT ON THE BOTTOM OF MY FEET” – MOODYMANN
Since the dawn of electronic dance music, Detroit has always had a disproportionate influence. It has repeatedly produced some of the greatest DJs on the planet, and some of the most mysterious. In a rare interview conducted by Gilles Peterson, New Era had the pleasure of visiting the legendary producer Moodymann on his home turf of Detroit, to explore the places that matter to him and meet the people that know him best. The documentary also marks the release of a Moodymann x New Era collaboration, which consists of three pieces of headwear, a long-sleeved t-shirt and a premium wool varsity jacket – all inspired by the unmistakable vibe of Detroit.
“I first met the New Era team at Dimensions festival back in 2015 and we started casually talking about custom bucket hats,” explained Moodymann. “We stayed in touch and a couple of years later I flew to their London office to design this collection.”
In the documentary, he takes us back in time to explore the roots of his musicality. Music was an obsession and a means to keep him out of trouble on the streets. But despite his popularity as a neighbourhood DJ, nobody wanted to put his tracks out. Which is how he started his own label: KDJ Records – where he still releases all of his music. Flash forward more than two decades and both Mahogani Music and KDJ Records are globally respected labels responsible for cutting edge dance music. Everything Dixon releases is still pressed at his local vinyl plant, Archer Records – the same place that was pressing Detroit’s Motown back in the 60s.
Over the years, he’s watched the nature of club culture change. The DJ was once an anonymous but mythical figure, someone who was trusted to play the right thing and do little else. But now the DJ is a rockstar, someone who is watched like a performer. It’s something he’s always tried to fight against in creative ways.
“We went to the club to get down and dance,” “Everyone knew the DJ but we didn’t sit there and look at the DJ… He provides the soundtrack, we make the movie. But nowadays everyone just stands there and looks at the DJ. It’s not like that’s Prince up there performing live, that’s a DJ.”
Even now, Dixon talks about Detroit like an excited kid seeing it all for the first time. That’s why in his collaboration with New Era, he wanted the letter D to feature prominently in the typographic style he calls “the English D”. It’s a strong symbol to everyone in this city, one that represents the struggle and creativity that underpins the narrative of Detroit. And it couldn’t feel more powerful than from the mouth of one of its most cherished DJs.
“We was wearing the D long before we made music, man. Your parents dressed you in that. It’s church. Church is everyday here with the D. They wear it on their heart, on their sleeve,” - MOODYMANN
At New Era we are passionate about supporting musical talent, from up-and-coming artists to globally recognised names. Our custom music collaborations have included limited-edition collections with acts like Rag N Bone Man, Yung Lean, Bring Me The Horizon, and grime artists including D Double E, Tempa T, and Novelist.