As the focus on the Detroit Electronic Music Festival grows to be all-consuming, it’s time to remember the brilliance of the creative director of that festival, Carl Craig. For 10 years he’s been running Planet E both as a fan of music and as one of its most innovative artists. Always keeping his label independent and in Detroit, Craig has done far more than help give this city the DEMF — he’s given it groundbreaking records from his own 69 project, Moodymann and Recloose. Always pushing boundaries and never stagnating, Planet E has gone through a number of phases and faces, with far too many of its releases being out of print.
In celebration of its anniversary, Planet E is releasing some of the Carl Craig classics, the first being “The Climax” (on white vinyl!). “The Climax” initially appeared as a limited, alternate, white-label side of the Equinox compilation (on his first label, Retroactive). It turned into one of the most sought-after records of the Detroit techno canon, with its inventive use of samples and extended, never-ending breakdown. This is the first time the original has been reissued, and this edition has been remastered by Berlin’s founding sonic sculptors Basic Channel. In addition to this remastering, “The Climax” has also received a brilliant 2001 Basic reshape resulting in a future dub piece that sounds like the cigarette after the climax.
With most 10-year anniversaries, there comes a grand party — and Planet E is no exception, with its three-floored extravaganza scheduled during the DEMF. The party, called “All Access,” is named after a DEMF-inspired CD that Planet E will make available during the festival, with a scope as broad as the festival’s. Craig will actually be playing for hours alongside 10 years of Planet E stalwarts, including Kirk Degiorgio, Mike Clark, Ibex, Recloose and a special mystery Planet E artist. Other guests include the ruler of the West London broken-beat sound, Orin Walters (Afronaut, NeonPhusion), Laurent Garnier and Paris’ answer to that sound via Chateau Flight’s Gilbr’. It happens Sunday, May 27, 10 p.m.-6 a.m., 1703 Cass Ave. at Bagley, Detroit. $20 at the door for three rooms and three levels — 18+. Learn more at www.planet-e.net.
After an explosive show at the DEMF 2000 and a year full of countless remixes and compilation appearances, Adult. is poised to take its music and art even further. The group has finally collected the best songs of its four EPs onto Resuscitation, many in unique mixes and versions, for a definitive representation of its work. This being the first proper Adult. CD, it should help to expand the group’s ever-growing cult, especially now that Ersatz Audio is being distributed by Thrill Jockey. More info at www.ersatzaudio.com.
And as the photography from Adult.’s Nicola Kuperus continues to gain wider recognition, she’s teamed up with some members of Constructure and Pilot Films to form a production group named Panic Detroit. In further Bowie references, they’ve planed a one-night-only show of art and commerce entitled “People From Good Homes.” The evening promises art from many people closely associated with the Detroit techno community — featuring fashion installations from Brian Anderson and Sarah Spratt, photographs by Kuperus and Riva Sayegh, paintings by Matthew Hawtin and music by Run/Stop Restore (Magda and Mark).
It’s all presented in cooperation with detroit contemporary at 2 John R, floors 5 & 6 (downtown Detroit at the corner of Woodward and John R, one block north of the old Hudson’s site) on Saturday, May 12, 7:30-11 p.m., for $5.E-mail Brendan M. Gillen at [email protected]