Movement Detroit Recap: Highlights and Lows
For three days, Detroit techno lived in the heart of the city.
Photograph by: Connie Chan
Movement Detroit has once again offered a variety of top acts and forward-thinking producers for this year's annual three-day festival. Thousands of electronic music lovers attended the event located along the Detroit Riverfront at Hart Plaza. Throughout the festival you got the real sense that the crowd was there because they had a genuine, unbridled passion for the music, and that ultimately the festival was there because an entire city, to some capacity, embraced the music too. Every cab driver would blast the music while telling us how they, or a brother or a friend played or created electronic music, and you could just tell that the love for the music was something that was part of the city, not just the festival. Coming from a city that is still struggling in a lot of ways and for a lot of different reasons to push its music scene forward, the experience of Detroit during the festival was a great thing to be a part of. We sent our contributors to this year's festival to experience it all and we have compiled our highlights and lows.
Highs: Trying not to fall on my ass amidst hundreds of roller skate fanatics who bussed in from across the States and Canada (and overseas!) to boogie down on eight wheels at Moodymann's Soul Skate 2014 headlined by former skater and house DJ legend Louie Vega. The Soul Clap and friends after party playing a set on the TV Lounge patio as the sun came up over the gritty Detroit skyline. And on the last day, Kevin Saunderson delving into the archives for his Origins show at the Made in Detroit Stage flanked by his two sons.
Lows: EDM bros that came to Movement expecting the Electric Daisy Carnival—they're like a cancer, and we haven't found a cure yet for either. Flosstradamus jabbering away on the microphone with inane commands like "if you don't give a fuck, put your hands in the air" and "we've played this track three times tonight already!" Some dude twitching on the grass after getting dragged out of the Old Miami by security during Seth Troxler's Need I Say More daytime bash—that venue is too solid for amateur hour partiers. —Greg Scruggs (@TropicalismoRIO)
Highs: Metro Area's live set was truly something special as they took you through a journey of several of their tracks and kept the crowd moving all the way into Tale of Us. Meanwhile, Benoit and Sergio had all the girls in the surrounding area wetting themselves for the entirety of their euphoric set. Golf Clap opened up day two with a strong set at the Made in Detroit stage. These two really showed the crowd that came early what Detroit has to offer. Kevin Saunderson back-to-back with Seth Troxler was a surprising pairing but was easily one of my favourite sets from the entire festival. It truly was a great match to hear two Detroit legends go back-to-back with one another.
Lows: I completely missed out on Robert Hood live, which was ultimately my greatest festival regret. And the sound in The Underground stage had so much sub bass my ears may never recover. When the festival ended and I spent the whole car ride trying to collect my emotions from the dark pit they had fallen into. —Serena Passion (@SerenaPassion)
Highs: Given that it was my first experience of both Movement and a festival of its kind, I honestly have to say that everything is still a bit of a blur of happy smiling faces and moments of what I remember to be just pure musical goodness. Watching the sun go down behind Loco Dice and Carl Cox playing back-to-back with the Detroit skyline in the background stands out as a particularly amazing moment, as does grooving on the steps of the Beatport stage to Damian Lazarus while people on jet skis zoomed about taking it all in on the river below. —Lizzy Sermol (@LizzySermol)
Highs: Most major highlights took place at the Red Bull Music Academy stage, where the production was shaped around the arena of Hart Plaza. The design was unique since it was similar to a mini colosseum and the sound for each set was seamless. After catching Richie Hawtin for the first time two years ago, I was blessed to hear his set once more with the ENTER. experience. Within the last 30 minutes of Hawtin's closing set, he captured the audience with his heavy basslines and haunting hi-hats that left us wanting more. Movement Detroit is a festival that is open to all groups within the electronic music genre, and that really stood out to me. For three days, the festival was open to people of all ages and backgrounds; it was the crowd that made it a truly great event.
Lows: It was unfortunate that a lot of sound bleeding occurred during the festival, especially when I was trying to enjoy Maceo Plex. Opposite was the Moog stage, which had completely been taken over with heavy trap and bass acts echoing throughout the plaza. It was disappointing to have to hear "let's hit up the bass" as I was watching the sunset behind Maceo on the decks. —Connie Chan (@ConstanceChan)