Movement Electronic Music Festival: Detroit and the Techno-colored Spotlight
A lot has been said about Detroit’s shortcomings. With dilapidated and abandoned buildings, run down houses selling for under a grand and the proliferation of the once concentrated American auto manufacturing industry out of the city and across the nation has seen The D come to mean down-and-out. And yet there’s one aspect of this city that is stronger than ever, an export they’ve shared with the world and which has taken a piece of Detroit to dance floors around the globe: techno. Not the first genre of music to come out Detroit; techno is a part of their artistic side that gets overshadowed by economic struggles. There is a time each year when downtown is bustling, hotels are booked and thousands of visitors come to inject their capital. All for the love of music.
The Movement Electronic Music Festival which happens every May, this year from the 23rd to the 25th, celebrates not only the music but the city responsible for its birth. Hart Plaza rests in the heart of downtown with views of the city’s skyline to one side and Canada across the water to the other. It’s hard to think of a city more fitting of a genre than Detroit is to techno. At some parts its dark and moody bringing an uneasy feeling of what’s to come, in others it carries on with a driving energy that steals the senses away from the surroundings and towards some different type of bliss. Similarly, being comprised mostly of concrete, industrial sculptures, and including an amphitheater sunken below street level, a large cavernous room underneath the street as well as a step pyramid, Hart Plaza maybe the best festival grounds imaginable. At least for techno heavy festival such as this.
All of these factors set Movement apart as not just the premier techno festival but one of the best or, if you will, one of the purest music festivals around. The proof? The line-up. Of which the 2nd and final phase was just released, including over 100 acts and around 20 live performances.
Heavyweights like Richie Hawtin, Seth Troxler, Dub Fire, and Maceo Plex are all there. Live sets by the likes of Matador and KiNK deepen the bill even further. Detroit rapper Danny Brown and Method Man can be a relief from the dance music, if for some reason that’s needed. The funky sax of Griz, the jazzy sounds of Squarepusher, and the deep fire that is Hot Since 82 all bring something unique to the weekend. There’s a DJ set from the UK sensations Disclosure. An as of late, a rare set from Boyz Noize and Skrillex as Dog Blood. Much to the delight of Noize fans since an illness kept him from taking to the Beatport Stage to close last year’s event. Loco Dice is back for another consecutive year and, you should hope, with the possibility of another surprise back to back set with a fellow techno legend as he did on last year’s main stage.
Basically there are cities and there is Detroit. There are festivals and there is Movement. And even if for a mere weekend the D will stand for Dance.
Tickets are available here.