Movement Festival Review
The Detroit Electronic Music Festival also known as Movement amazes me ever year. The tens of thousands that show up for an underground music festival rooted in the birthplace of techno, truly astonishes me even when many of the musical talent is unknown to the majority of the masses. The Paxahau group has managed to bring a mix of techno magic that reflects the roots of Detroit techno and keeps pushing the boundaries of the genre forward. If there was a theme this year I would say live free form styles of jazz laden techno were it. Carl Craig arrived on stage with an inspiring speech about techno and the world and gave a live performance of pounding jazzy infused winding soul that would never stop. Cobblestone Jazz's free-form minimal techno jam had Matthew Johnson's tweaked synth style melting into a vocoded housey organ groove. The Real Detroit underground stage was back and folks like Punisher and Kevin Saunderson where not about to let us forget where it all started, keeping the groove hard and the energy high. The MINUS ten year onslaught at the Beatport tent kept up the minimal madness then good ole Josh Wink took over the next day and shook things up. The Red Bull pyramid stage dropped a nod to a hip hop electro past with two crazy jackin' performances by Neucleus and Egyptian Lover. The events that go on outside the festival are just as hot. We got a Memorial Day morning wake up call from Hello Repeat at a local joint called The Old Miami, drinking local Ghettoblaster brew at 10am is always a treat. I would be remiss if I didn't talk about our trip to Submerge Records, downstairs at this Detroit home to Underground Resistance, Axis, Metroplex and many other techno labels. We got to listen in on "Mad" Mike Banks as he talked about Ron Murphy, the vinyl cutter and mastering legend, why Underground Resistance still holds true to vinyl releases and how many of the early tapes of Underground Resistance and Cybotron are deteriorating. He also talked about the drug problems in Detroit, the industry that perpetuates it and his hopes for the future of Submerge and Underground Resistance. This alone was worth the trip to Detroit. As Detroit's past becomes the future the Detroit Electronic Music Festival will continue to be a force in keeping techno alive in the United States.
- Dr. Strangelove