Last month, Delano Smith launched a GoFundMe to help Huckaby overcome an unnamed medical setback. It’s unclear if his death was due to related complications—we’ll update this piece with more information as it’s available.
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 39 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.
RIP Mike Huckaby. A teacher, mentor, masterclass DJ and producer. A part of what makes electronic music special. A part of what makes Detroit music sublime. You will be missed greatly. pic.twitter.com/ZiKP1pcPaE
— Ghostly (@ghostly) April 24, 2020
had the pleasure of meeting mike several times, and djing with him once in nyc years ago. i didn’t know him well, but he was a positive force in the music community…. together we can make it forever…r.i.p. mike. https://t.co/B6JyCDgu30
— beginner oil baron (@musthaverecords) April 24, 2020
Detroit Techno army salute #MikeHuckaby
— DETROIT STATE OF MIND (@carlcraignet) April 24, 2020
I’m lost for words 🥀 pic.twitter.com/hnYklwM8vR
— Anthony Parasole (@AnthonyParasole) April 24, 2020
Heartbroken to hear about Mike Huckaby. He was a hero to many, and a mentor to those fortunate enough to be close to him. You can’t talk about the spirit of Detroit techno without acknowledging it was fully embodied in Mike Huckaby. May he Rest In Peace.
— ambivalent (@ambivalent) April 24, 2020
We lost one of our Kings today.
Rest in power Mike Huckaby 🌹
— MoMA Ready (@MoMa_Ready) April 24, 2020