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Detroit, what?: 2011 Movement Electronic Music Festival preview

I'm heading to Detroit tonight. In fact, by the time you read this, it's likely that I'll be en route. While you're lounging about this Memorial Day weekend, drinking all the beers and surely enjoying some ace tunes, I'll be doing the same, except the tunes that I'm ingesting will have a much lower bass resonance and will be moving to a 4/4 drum kick. My specific destination is the 2011 MOVEMENT FESTIVAL -- formerly known as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, don't ask -- and to say that I'm a little giddy as I type up this preview would be a gross understatement. As someone who's been an avid consumer of electronic music for quite some time and has lived his entire life in an area void of any consistent electronic music scene (read: the continental United States), my current mind state can best be compared to that of a ten year old who has watched The Lion King about 600 times and is finally getting the opportunity to visit Disney.

For all intents and purposes, this is the biggest techno festival in the country (no, the annual Miami Beach Tiësto/Deadmau5/David Guetta wankfest, otherwise known as Ultra, does not count). It takes place in the birthplace of the genre. And while it's pretty void of any of the key components of the upstart UK bass music scene that is so occupying my listening pleasure as of late, I can't complain. There are some legitimate living legends playing this thing, and if I play my cards right, I could groove for 72 straight hours (jk, jk).

I'm going to try to drop in with a post or two over the course of weekend, but a number of circumstances may prevent me from doing so, namely my dust-riddled laptop and/or the sure-to-be lack of a Wi-Fi connection at the crack motel I'll be living out of until Tuesday. At the very least, expect a comprehensive recap following my return, prominently featuring some bootleg phlipcam vids. I know, I know. Videos of DJs! Spinning records! But I'll be sure to capture the cool parts, when everyone's raving or whatever...

For now, I'll leave you with a few thoughts on a few of my most anticipated acts of this weekend:

5) Flying Lotus


Dude has been on an absolute roll since the release of Cosmogramma, and the fests organizers have clearly taken notice, granting him a coveted Monday night closing set. I've seen him DJ a couple times and it was scatterbrained as fuck (song selection including, but not limited to: cool jazz, Saturday morning cartoon samples, "America's Most Blunted"), but at Movement, he'll be playing with a live band. Enticing stuff. Grainy Youtube videos of said performance seem to suggest that it will be worthy of the closing slot. Time will tell.

4) Carl Craig as 69

 

The man of many hats belongs in that aforementioned group of living legends. This time he'll be donning his 69 cap, for his first live performance under the billing of said moniker. I'll admit that I'm not all too familiar with his work as 69, but it's being reported that the set will be "infused with masks, darkness, and retina-popping visuals to stimulate all senses." The last time Movement promised an A/V experience of this ilk was 2010's Plastikman set and look how that turned out:

 

3) Pearson Sound

 

Did I say there was no cogs of the UK bass music scene playing this year? Well, I lied, because Dave Kennedy (also known as Ramadanman, currently known as Pearson Sound) has been causing quite the stir over the past twelve months, and he's playing an afternoon set on Monday. He just released a FabricLive mix and it kicks. Expect elaborate gushing in my post show write-up.

2) Ricardo Villalobos


Basically the reason I'm such an electronic music obsessive. Back when I thought techno was nothing more than this, I happened upon the music of Villalobos and the rest is history. Admittedly, he's not for everyone. The uninitiated might be wondering why that bird-like man is slinking across the stage with such a massive shit eating grin on his face even though he's been playing the same song for the past ten minutes. No such complaining from me. This is his first US appearance since 2002 thanks to his strong distaste of the Bush administration, and to celebrate his return he'll be boarding a boat for a 6-hour DJ set/cruise around Lake Eerie alongside Sven Väth. I will also be aboard said boat, and if I'm able to make memories during my 6-hour tour, expect coverage of that. No promises though.

1) Seth Troxler

This is basically his fest for the taking. After burning up the house scene overseas and launching a fledgling record label, the young Detroit native is making a homecoming of sorts. Dude has the personality and chops to be a mega-DJ, but mercifully refuses to play the tunes that mega-DJs generally fall back on, opting instead to keep it weird. He'll be on the 72-hour sleepless tip this weekend -- closing out the fest on Saturday with his Visionquest mates, headlining 15-hour afterparty after that, and hosting his own day party on Monday afternoon -- so our paths are sure to cross at some point.

Wish me luck. 

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