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Movement Electronic Music Festival – 5/26-28, 2012 June 5, 2012

Posted by greatbloginthesky in Music - Other.
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We are fortunate this week to have a guest blogger and very dear friend of mine:  “A”.  She succeeded in winning the coolest-plans-over-Memorial-Day-weekend award when she attended Detroit’s Movement Festival.  The following are her thoughts on the subject:

What started out as a road trip to see my best friend, became a three-day scramble to see as many of electronic music’s savants at the Movement Festival (a.k.a DEMF).  Held in Detroit, MI, birthplace of Techno, since it began over a decade ago, this year’s festival prompted Mayor Dave Bing to declare the week leading up to Memorial Day, Detroit Techno Week.

As a virgin, i armed myself with a list of recommendations from a knowledgable friend, spending hours at work listening to them on Spotify in order to make decisions on which sets to attend.  I was also privileged to be in the company of industry folks who politely schooled me on deep house and gave me the experience of a long-time festival goer.

With 5 stages playing noon to midnight and a variety of afterparties that lasted till morning, there was head-bobbing and dancing 24/7.  Hart Plaza, festival grounds, didn’t start getting full until the later evening hours and if you wanted to see a 8/9:30 set, and be in a good place to hear and see that set, you had to get there early. The one show i wanted to see above all others was SBTRKT, who opened with a remix of Radiohead’s “Lotus Flower”. If it wasn’t for the Jersey Shore teenagers and the sardine-packed dance floor of which i didn’t even have enough room to get my backpack off, i would have stayed for the entire set.  The douche factor made me cut out early and call it a night after 10+ hours of dancing.

A gigantic fountain in the center of the plaza attracted many in need of a cool down.  This was a great place to meet people, grab some food from the carnival style vendors, and check out a dance circle or two.  For a non-ravey type festival, there were certainly those dressed up as such and I kind of regret not wearing some of my Burning Man attire.  Lots of teenagers, too.  Most of whom had flat-billed hats displaying a D.  I tried to stay away from most of these people.  My impression was that Detroitians would be somewhat calloused by their economic situation and appear stand-offish and rude.  I can’t say that i had any bad run-ins with people, though my immediate festivalmates were mainly from California, and thereby the nicest people you could ever meet.  But there is definitely some sort of  magical haze over the city, that turns a 1 minute question into a 4-hour quest.  The cabbies, especially, were the epitome of  the viral video turned catchphrase “Cold in the D”, in which i was schooled on.  During one ride, after pointing out to the driver that he’d just taken us in a circle, he turned up the radio, deafening our chatter.

Out of the 100+ artists playing, there were 4 that stuck out to me, whose sets i stayed the entire time, not worrying about who i might be missing, losing myself in heavy bass.

1. Salva.  What made me stay: hip-hop blend of hard beats and 8-bit video game sound bites.
2. Bok Bok.  What made me stay: time-traveling trip through deep space around and around the subwoofer
3. FaltyDL.  What made me stay: face fat vibrations and the “wait for it” moments
4. Claude VonStroke.  What made me stay: steady, thumping bass mixed with deep house

Tale of Us was apparently the hit of the festival last year, but unfortunately, they were 15 minutes into their set when all went quiet.  They eventually got back up and running, but i left to go explore other DJs and when i came back they were just ending.

I never made it to the festival for the last day.  Apparently, the place to be was Old Miami, a bar north of downtown with an enclosed backyard where Benoit & Sergio and Maya Jane Cole DJ’d sets…at least during the portion of the day i was there.  The bar was serving up delicious, red sangria and i might not have survived the 95 degree Memorial Day heat had i not downed a few of these.

Though i’ve only been to a few music festivals, this one bass-fucked me (in a good way!) so hard, i can’t wait to go again and feel slightly ashamed at only having heard of it recently.  As a native Clevelander, Detroit has always been publicized as the one city we rise above.  And before i give way to rants on why my city is pretty spectacular, the one area i have always wished improvement upon is the music scene…my  music scene.  While i can’t yet hoist Detroit up on my shoulders as the greatest place on earth, the festival has given me a new love for the city, an eagerness to move beyond the crowd-drawing Movement and explore the clubs and basement caves where techno began and still lives.




1. http://coolmancave.com - June 27, 2012


[…]Movement Electronic Music Festival – 5/26-28, 2012 « Great Blog in the Sky[…]…

2. Movement Festival 2012 | contemplation - October 4, 2016

[…] out my review, on GBITS, of this year’s Movement Festival, held May 26-28, 2012 in Detroit, […]

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