Top 10 Moments of Movement Electronic Music Festival
May 31, 2013 at 6:25 PM (PT)
By Ashley Zlatopolsky
As the birthplace and origin of techno, Detroit annually celebrates its roots during Movement Electronic Music Festival. Comprised of three days, five stages and over 100 artists, music lovers from all over the world come together and dance throughout Memorial Day Weekend, and as the current weekend begins, here is a look back at some of the top festival moments from last weekend's excitement along the banks of the Detroit River ...
Opening his Saturday night set at the Beatport stage with a snippet of "Natural Blues", the legendary artist drove the crowd wild within a mere 20 seconds. "Para", a collaboration with the Loops of Fury, immediately followed. Waving flags and crowd surfing from the riverfront entrance to the barricade, fans were enthralled as the DJ dropped a set that covered everything from house to electro to ambient. Moby had just as much energy as his audience (if not more), climbing on top of the DJ booth and jumping around throughout the majority of his tracks. The man truly knows how to put on a stellar performance, both visually and musically. An equally astounding light show supplemented his flair.
Selling over 12 million copies of 1999's Play worldwide, Moby is more than just a household name in the world of electronic music- he's a pioneer and an innovator, producing sounds that are unique to his identity. Paxahau couldn't have picked a better headliner for the first night at the festival, bringing Moby's set to the top of our list.
As opposed to last year's performance under Maceo Plex, Eric Estornel played 2013's festival under his other DJ alias, Maetrik. Maetrik, the darker and deeper side of his musical persona, threw down an extremely heavy techno set for an hour and a half that could be felt far from the Beatport Stage area. Despite a torrential rainstorm, the massive crowd kept on growing and Maetrik kept on spinning. The freezing rain only seemed to fuel his performance further, with the beats getting heavier as the rain came down harder. Fans fed off the DJ's energy, dancing faster as the set continued to pick up more and more. With a towel covering his head and water pouring from his headphones, Maetrik trucked on through the storm and delivered a proper set for his audience. The usage of dark electronic voices, a characteristic typical to his tracks, were heard throughout the music. Some crowd favorites were "Bottom Heavy" and his well-known remix of Timo Maas' "Kick 1 Kick 3".
3. Dirtybird Players Tour, Presented by Nightsneak and RBMA Radio
Dirtybird, one of Detroit's favorite record labels, always draws a massive crowd to any show with the name on it. Add Nightsneak to the mix, and an incredible party is more than guaranteed- it's expected. As some of the best promoters in the city, the gentlemen behind Nightsneak know how to throw an event that always seems to be one for the books. The DJs of Dirtybird dropped tag sets all night at The Fillmore after party, which directly followed the festival Saturday night. Over 2,000 people attended, packing the venue and selling out the main floor completely. Burst Audio provided extra sound, along with cryo and feather blasts from RockitFX, leaving partygoers headed home at 4 a.m. covered in feathers.
The lineup included Ardalan vs. Justin Jay, J. Phlip vs. Kill Frenzy, Worthy vs. Leroy Peppers and finally the most anticipated, Claude VonStroke (head of Dirtybird) vs. Justin Martin. Sporting a Red Wings shirt, Claude VonStroke held down the hometown pride as fans cheered him on throughout the two-hour tag set. He was even spotted crowd surfing towards the end of the night.
4. Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May in the Rain
While freezing rain and bitter winds from the river may have put a damper on any other outdoor festival, something about the icy cold mixed in with Detroit techno brought the people of the city together. Whether it was for warmth or shelter from the torrential downpour (or both), concertgoers huddled together under the main stage and danced for the final set of Movement. There was something special about the moment, as people stuck it out through the terrible weather to witness timeless music. Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May, credited as two of the three creators of techno, spun a tag set that couldn't have represented the city's musical history more.
5. The Fashion Statements
Every year, Movement is nothing short of a ridiculous fashion show. Those on a hunt for some of the most outrageous outfits to hit the streets should make the festival a must to attend. It's a photographer's paradise and a fashion designer's worst nightmare. Besides thousands of neon-dressed and fuzzy accessory-clad festivalgoers, characters such as Mario and Luigi make frequent appearances. Also seen throughout the weekend were Spiderman, Batman, aliens, Lady GaGa lookalikes and all animals imaginable (both real and those out of fairytales). One of the best outfits spotted was Sunday during J. Phlip's set on the Electric Forest Stage- Grumpy Cat.
6. An Appearance from Ryan Gosling
Fans exiting the festival late Saturday night had a bit of a surprise waiting for them outside the gates of Hart Plaza- none other than actor Ryan Gosling. Gosling, who is filming How to Catch a Monster in Detroit, has been spotted throughout the city on numerous occasions. He apparently filmed the last half hour of the festival that evening, catching part of Richie Hawtin's set at the Red Bull Music Academy Stage. He was then seen outside the festival, filming a taxicab for a few minutes as spectators watched and photographers snapped photos. No further sightings of Gosling were reported during the Movement.
7. Carl Craig
A name synonymous with the growth of techno music, Carl Craig is considered to be one of the most important individuals in the genre's second wave of evolution. As the co-creator and former artistic director of Movement (originally DEMF), Craig frequently appears on the festival's roster. Playing the main stage Saturday evening, he drew a massive crowd of both long-time fans and new listeners. Craig dropped a set true to proper Detroit techno, a sound that is easily distinguishable from the rest. Mixed in with his own tracks was Jeff Mills' "The Bells", a Detroit techno classic. Near the end, his set took a turn towards a disco vibe, then immediately dove back into hard techno, driving the crowd crazy.
8. Masters at Work
Louie Vega and Kenny Dope, the duo known as Masters at Work, defined their title Sunday evening. Headlining the Beatport Stage, the DJs gave the crowd a taste of what it meant to truly master one's work- in this case, mixing. Known for creating some of the greatest remixes in the business, Masters at Work spun a set that showcased some of their best. Tributes were given to monumental and groundbreaking dance artists who passed, such as Romanthony, the vocals behind Daft Punk's "One More Time". Vega and Dope remixed his hit, "Let Me Show You Love". Also remixed was Donna Summer's 1977 classic, "I Feel Love", causing even the toughest-looking security guards to bob their heads and start dancing to the timeless disco beat.
9. OK, Cool After Party at TV Lounge
A city favorite during the spring and summer, TV Lounge held an array of after parties throughout the festival weekend. With a newly renovated patio and dance floor, the venue is an excellent spot for hosting outdoor events. One of TV Lounge's biggest weekend successes was OK, Cool, a party thrown by Dax and resident DJs New Agenda. Featuring artists such as Michael Mayer, Jozif, Eddie C, Rick Wade and plenty more, the night was filled with bangin' house music that kept people dancing for hours on end. Eddie C's set in particular was a crowd favorite, packing the outdoor dance floor to what appeared to be capacity. The 16-hour long event never seemed to dwindle down. Fans just couldn't seem to get enough, even as the final set approached.
10. Bang Tech 12's 17th Anniversary Party
It's a yearly tradition that Bang Tech 12 throws a daylong party the Friday before Movement begins. Starting early in the afternoon and continuing through the wee hours of the night, the festival pre-party showcases some of the group's best talent. Bang Tech 12, a compilation of DJs from around the world, holds the annual event at Bookies Bar and Grille, a three-story venue located right in the heart of downtown Detroit. By the time 5 p.m. rolled around, the place was slammed. Although a chilly night for late May, the rooftop of Bookies was the spot to be as partygoers danced away while the sun set over the city skyline.