Photo credit: Peter Liu
Movement Electronic Music Festival’s 11th year kicked off to a start on a beautifully sunny day this past Memorial Day Weekend.
Ahead of the festival, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggen had officially declared the week of May 22nd-29th as ‘Detroit Techno Week’. This is the one exciting time of the year that people from all around the world come to celebrate and take part in Detroit’s culture as the birthplace of techno music.
Day 1 – Saturday, May 27
After a long roadtrip to Detroit listening to techno mixes along the way, Chris B and I arrived at the festival just in time to catch Cassy energizing the crowd at the Stargate stage at 5pm.
Shortly after, we saw our Philly friend Josh Wink performing on the Movement main stage. Sporting an Ovum Recordings shirt, he played a number of tracks from his label catalog including his most recent release “Resist”.
Following that, I spent my time bouncing around between multiple stages to catch my favorite acts including Nicole Moudaber, Octave One, and Larry Heard along with influential techno pioneers later in the night such as The Belleville Three, Richie Hawtin, and Robert Hood.
Larry Heard AKA Mr Fingers performed live at the Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA) stage with Mr. White singing vocals on classics such as “The Sun Can’t Compare”.
The Belleville Three – comprised of Juan Atkins (The Initiator), Derrick May (The Innovator), and Kevin Saunderson (The Elevator) – were the original creators of Detroit techno as we know it today. The three high school friends from Belleville, Michigan were heavily influenced by the music they heard on The Midnight Funk Association, a 5-hour radio show hosted by The Electrifying Mojo in the 1980s.
At Movement, the three left the audience in awe as they wove their own material together as one cohesive mix on a massive Pioneer DJ TOUR setup.
Soon after, Richie Hawtin closed out the night with his audio-visual show titled “CLOSE – Spontaneity & Synchronicity”.
The night didn’t end there though. We continued onto the Detroit Love Afterparty to catch Moodymann spinning at the Magic Stick at 2am followed by Soul Clap’s House of eFunk at TV Lounge to see Louie Vega (for several hours), Josh Wink (again!), and Mathew Jonson shortly before sunrise.
Day 2 – Sunday, May 28
We came back to Movement day #2 in the late afternoon for a glimpse of the last half of Heidi’s set and the start of Honey Dijon’s set at the RBMA stage.
Among the vendors and food carts, the Rickmobile was seen selling exclusive merchandise from Adult Swim’s TV show Rick & Morty.
Due to technical and weather-related issues delaying closing sets such as Testpilot, we left Day 2 early for the official afterparties.
The night went out with our return to TV Lounge for a 2nd night at OK COOL’s 5-year anniversary party featuring John Tejada, Honey Dijon, Danny Daze, and Doc Martin. During the night, I also made my way over to the Masonic Temple nearby to catch Adam Beyer presents Drumcode with Nicole Moudaber and Keith Kemp in a packed ballroom floor.
Day 3 – Monday, May 29
On Day 3, Barclay Crenshaw made his debut at Movement as himself playing hip-hop and bass-y beats from a Pioneer CDJ and Toraiz SP-16 sampler setup instead of the usual tech and bass house as Dirtybird label boss Claude VonStroke.
For his closing act on the main stage, Carl Craig brought on the Versus Synthesizer Ensemble- consisting of 4 musicians each with a Prophet-6 synthesizer and a pianist on the grand piano- to recreate and interpret his Versus album released just a few weeks earlier.
Finally, Carl Cox unleashed a spectacularly thunderous 2-hour set as Detroit Techno Week came to a close.
Until next year!
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