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Kim Ann Foxman on How Milli Vanilli and Herbie Hancock Shaped Her House Career

In the latest edition of Crate Expectations, the Brooklyn local revisits classic dance anthems and 80s R&B.
January 14, 2016, 8:10pm
Christelle de Castro

Like most people, DJs and producers have specific songs tied to events throughout their lives. In Crate Expectations, we extract a playlist from their memories to tell their story. This week's subject: Kim Ann Foxman. Seasoned house DJ, founder of Firehouse Recordings, and former Hercules and Love Affair vocalist, the proud Brooklyn local shares some of the impactful songs that shaped her music career.

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THUMP: What was the first song you ever fell in love with?
Kim Ann Foxman: That's really tough to say. I remember Herbie Hancock's "Rockit" making a big impact on me. When it came out, I was really young. The song was really cool because it was pop on the radio, but it was electronic. The video was so cool it had all these mechanical robots and robot legs. I just remember the song totally blew me away. I didn't see it live, but I saw his performance on TV and he brought all these elements out—all these crazy robot things. His keyboards were insane. It was very futuristic for the time and it's still such a cool song.

What were the first two tracks you ever mixed together?
MC Luscious' "Boom I Got Your Boyfriend" with Connie's "Rock Me." I was really into those records in my youth and I still had them them around when I started messing with turntables.

Do you have any guilty pleasure songs?

Milli Vanilli has always been a guilty pleasure. "Blame It On The Rain," "Girl You Know It's True," "Baby Don't Forget My Number"—I love them all. I went through a phase where I would work out to Milli Vanilli. I was really into putting my cheesy playlist on in hotel gyms. There were times in the early 2000s when I definitely did play some kind of B-side of a Milli Vanilli track [in my DJ sets].

Which track of your own do you dislike the most?
I don't really dislike any of them, but when I look back at some of my early mixes, I can see that I've grown so much from then. I'll be like "that piece kind of drives me a bit mental," or "that one I made in a cafe on earphones." In the beginning, you kind of learn as you go along. Artists grow and I definitely feel like I've grown a lot.

What's a tune from back in the day that you're proud of?
I would have to say "Creature," because it was my first solo jam. There was also a video for it, which made it quite special. I really like that I re-released it on my own label, Firehouse and I really like the Adjusted remix of it. I did that this past year in 2015 and that one made a lot of rounds—it's a really big remix.

Which song has been really going off in the clubs for you this past summer?
The jam that was really killing it was Jozef K and Winter Son's "Tribal Rhythm." It's on my label and I also did a remix of it. Both of them are really good. When they sent the original to me, I was like, "Oh my god, this track is super fun." It sounds like a classic rave track. It's new, but it gives people that feeling.

Which song have you had on repeat this past month?
I've been listening to a lot of Severed Heads' "All Saint's Day Dub." It's a classic jam and Severed Heads is really cool band that's been a pioneer for many other bands. They're really awesome underdogs that paved the way for so many kinds of industrial and other kinds of bands. I saw them recently. They just had their first show in like 25 years in New York.

What's the last song you want to hear before the lights go on?
Usually it would be a classic kind of tune; I always prefer that kind of vibe. Or, I mix it up and put in a surprise element. Lately I've been playing this song "Calling Card (Razor Dub)" by Galleria.

Kim Ann Foxman will be performing at Igloofest in Montreal on January 15, 2016. Tickets are available here.

Kim Ann Foxman is on Facebook // Twitter // Soundcloud