You say you want to escape the Groundhog Day grind of 9 to 5? Sick of spending another two hours on the interstate making that commute from Harrison Township to Dearborn? Well! The Fuse-In festival, featuring more than 120 acts on four stages in Hart Plaza, and a vibrant official (and unofficial) after-party scene might help you change your life. After-parties for previous DEMF and Movement festivals are still being talked about on electronic music forums in the UK, Holland and Germany. You can drop into this insane (yes, it is) 96-hour party marathon at virtually any hour of the day or night during festival weekend. It gives you an opportunity to experience a different world, one that doesn’t adhere to ordinary workaday rules. Here are 15 reasons to readjust your sleep schedule from Thursday to early Tuesday morning.
(Note: Caveat emptor! Lineups will change, times will change, and, in some cases, venues as well. Full lists, updates and rumors related to the dozens of related events planned for the weekend can be gleaned from checking out Techno Tourist (technotourist.org) and Detroit Luv (detroitluv.com).
THURSDAY • May 26
What: Lowdown. Doors: 10 p.m.
Where: The Works (1846 Michigan Ave., Detroit; 313-961-1742)
Highlights: Dietrich Schoenemann, Pan/Tone, Keith Kemp, Der Mercenary, John Johr, MD! feat. Bombscare, Number 9, Dan Lucas, Sajin, Chad McConnell, Scott Nutt
Reason to stay up: A variety of music styles on display here in one of the city’s best-sounding rooms (two rooms, actually). Pan/Tone is former Torontonian Sheldon Thompson, a stockbroker who moved to Cologne, where he also records under the names Gringo Grinder and Sid LeRock. Schoenemann plays a dark, tribal-style techno and is most closely associated with Hidden Agenda records (so hidden that the Web site is currently inaccessible). Kemp is also in the festival, but hearing his dark side come through in a sweaty club is an entirely different experience.
What: Loaded Deck: The DEQ Spring Release Party. Doors: 10 p.m.
Where: Oslo (1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; detroiteq.com)
Highlights: Traxx, James T. Cotton, Carlos Souffront, Patrick Russell
Reason to stay up: In late winter, local DJ and marketing fireplug Vince Patricola (aka Shortround) launched DEQ (Detroit Electronic Quarterly), an energetic, boosterist glossy magazine featuring some of Detroit’s best upcoming electronic performers. Each issue includes a free compilation CD. This party launches the second issue of the mag, which is getting worldwide distribution and attention. Check out Chicago’s Traxx, who can play all night in an empty room and sound good, and Ann Arbor’s James T. Cotton and the underrated vet Carlos Souffront.
FRIDAY THROUGH SUNDAY
What: Death Wish (Friday), 3 Chairs (Saturday) and a night of Berlin-based artists (Sunday)
Where: Oslo (1456 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-963-0300)
How much: Covers vary. Check with venue.
Highlights: Friday: I.B.M., BMG of Ectomorph, DJ Godfather, Serge, Derek Plaslaiko, Perspects; Saturday: Kenny Dixon Jr., Theo Parrish, Malik Pittman and Rick Willhite; Sunday: lineup of European performers to be announced.
Reason to stay up: Because it’ll be so hot and dark in the basement of Oslo, you might believe you’re dancing next to Charles Bronson. Something for everybody here: dark, wicked electro and ghetto-funk on Friday; an in-house history lesson on Saturday; and a fuzzed-up Sunday night of hammering techno from Berliner Peter Grummich and others.
FRIDAY THROUGH MONDAY
What: Official Fuse-In Afterparties
Where: Centre Street (Friday) (location to be announced for Saturday, Tangent Gallery (Sunday) and Bleu (Monday).
Cost: Unknown. Check for up-to-the-minute details at fuse-indetroit.com.
Highlights: Frankie Bones, Carl Craig, Osunlade, Advent and Ron Trent on various nights
Reason to stay up: Because they won’t get busted. Kevin Saunderson’s MusicLogical brings four events, the biggest at Tangent on Sunday night with two rooms and a truly incredible spread of talent, including Advent (hard techno with electro accents) and Trent (deep house).
What: Electric Avenue Presents Endurance. Doors: Friday 6 p.m.; Saturday, Sunday and Monday doors at 10 p.m.
Where: Masonic Temple (500 Temple St., Detroit; electricavenue.org)
Cost: $15-$25 each event; or $75 package price for all four days
Highlights: Rob Hood, Docile, John Tejada, Detroit Techno Militia (plus 75 others)
Reason to stay up: Because the Masonic Temple is creepy and cool. The most ambitious party outside of the festival itself, Endurance features four nights of DJs and live acts, local and national, techno and house, everything and anything for lovers of electronic music. Sunday might be the bomb with Alan Oldham, Scan 7 (live), and former Underground Resistance minimalist Rob Hood closing the main room.
FRIDAY • May 27
What: In the Dark. Doors: 10 p.m.
Where: The Fi-Nite Gallery (229 Gratiot Ave., Cary Building, Loft #5)
Highlights: Rick Wilhite, Malik Pittman, Mike Huckaby, Delano Smith, Keith Worthy, Malik Alston, Jerome D
Reason to stay up: Rick Wilhite from Vibe’s lines up with Record Time’s Mike Huckaby and regular Agave resident Delano Smith. That’s 100 years of experience on the decks?
What: A.O.D. Doors: no information
Where: Delux Lounge (350 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-962-4200)
Cost: $15, $10 with out-of-state ID
Highlights: Dietrich Schoenemann, Tony Rohr, Rich Horvach, Drew Maddox
Reason to stay up: Because Schoenemann and Rohr will plug in as Side4Live, and the night features more sweet local live and DJ talent.
What: We call it home. Doors: 8 p.m.
Where: Envy, 234 W. Larned St., Detroit. 313-962-3689
How much: $15
Highlights: Paul Johnson, Ron Carroll, Driving Soul (plus 16 others).
Reason to stay up: Because Chicago deserves some love. Local residents Driving Soul (Gabe Real and Mike Rhythm) head up this Detroit-meets-Chicago house party.
SATURDAY • May 28
What: Spring Dance 2005. Doors: 10 p.m.
Where: 555 Gallery, 4884 Grand River Ave., Detroit; ghostlyinternational.com
Highlights: Matthew Dear, Heartthrob, Jeff Samuel, Ryan Elliott, Tommie Sunshine, Les Infants Terribles
Reason to stay up: Because bad behavior is a tradition at festival afterparties, and promoters from Untitled, Blackbx and Ghostly International promise this 18+ will be bad. Picture two rooms going bonkers until the wee hours of Sunday, guaranteed, with Untitled residents and Spectral artists Matthew Dear and Ryan Elliott, plus Derek Plaslaiko and Mike Servito holding down one room, with special guests Jeff Samuel and Heartthrob; and Tommie Sunshine, Cowboy Mark, the Dorkwave crew and Nan-Nan Takatsu spinning all Japanese in another room.
What: Feeling Moody III: a Moods & Grooves Event. Doors: 11 p.m.
Where: Agave, 4625 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-1120
Highlights: Omar S, Abicah Soul, PirahnaHead and Brad Peterson
Reason to stay up: Because Omar S and PirahnaHead, two of the planet’s trippiest dudes, are in the house. This is legendary house king Mike Grant’s party for his Moods & Grooves imprint. This event will swing with heart and soul. A bonus: hungry dancers will have the benefit of a late-night kitchen serving Mexican food.
What: Outpost. Doors: 10 p.m.
Where: Envy (234 W. Larned St., Detroit; paxahau.com)
Highlights: Mathew Jonson, Luciano, Kooky Scientist (plus 8 others)
Reason to stay up: Because those pesky ’90s ravers have come of age. Paxahau co-produces Underground Stage mayhem at Fuse-In and then throws the most cutting-edge techno party of the weekend. Canada’s Jonson is one of the world’s hottest producers of the moment, with recent releases out on Kompakt Speicher Extra, Minus and Perlon. Luciano (aka Lucien Nicolet) is a Chilean who splits time between Berlin, Switzerland and being a new parent (the song "La Dance des Enfants" on his Blind Behavior LP is about his kids); and Kooky Scientist has been a Detroit favorite since his days recoding on the Windsor-based Plus 8 label.
What: Substance. Doors: 9 p.m.
Where: Tavern On the Park (1570 Woodward Ave., Detroit; infrastructure-ny.com
Highlights: Dan Bell, Steve Stoll (live), Ectomorph (live), Kill Memory Crash (live), John Selway & Ulysses, Adam Marshall, Mike Huckaby, Kero (live), Twonz and more
Reason to stay up: Because former Detroiter Dan Bell hasn’t been part of a bad festival party yet. Midwest meets New York City at this likable dump on Grand Circus Park. Besides Bell, the lineup is stellar, with plenty of live action from Ann Arbor’s Ectomorph, Kill Memory Crash from Chicago and Windsor’s Kero. The party is scheduled to go until 7 a.m. but expect it to rock on until at least noon.
What: My Party. Doors: 9 p.m.
Where: Fifth Avenue (2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-2555, fifthavenuebilliards.com).
Highlights: Aril Brikha, John Arnold, Ayro, Kevin Reynolds, Szymanski, Tony Ollivierra, E. Spleece, AB/Nrml.
Reason to stay up: Because this lineup amounts to a Transmat Time:Space reunion; this is techno-live at its best.
What: Motown Remixed Record Release Party. Doors: 11 p.m.
Where: JoHansen Charles Gallery (1345 Division St., Detroit; createdetroit.com)
Highlights: DJ Smash, Mike Clark, Alvin Hill, Norm Talley.
Reason to stay up: Though no locals got to join DJ Smash for the Motown remixes, this party promises to promote, at least they let local legends Mike Clark, Alvin Hill and Norm Talley rule it at the after-party.
What: Ambush. Doors: 8 p.m.
Where: The Hub (1344 Broadway, Detroit; 313-961-2000).
Highlights: Bruce Bailey, Korie, Earl McKinney, Vern English, Raybone, Mike Brown.
Reason to stay up: The ’80s return with a vengeance as a crew of legitimate old-school house heads get together under Bruce Bailey’s expertise.
SUNDAY • May 29
What: Defender. Doors: 10 p.m.
Where: Good Life Lounge (636 Woodward, Detroit; meioticpromotions.com)
Highlights: Akufen, Orlando Voorn, Todd Sines
Reason to stay up: Because Columbus, Ohio’s Sines and Dutchman-cum-Detroiter Voorn (Submerge) aren’t playing anywhere else. Montreal’s Akufen (Marc LeClair) is in the festival, but he’s worth seeing again in this spot just a two blocks north of Hart Plaza.
What: Detroit Underground 2005 Release Party. Doors: 9 p.m.
Where: Magic Stick (4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; detroitunderground.net)
Highlights: Apparat, Richard Devine, Kero
Reason to stay up: Because you can dance to noise too. Windsor-based crazies Detroit Underground have been throwing the best "raves" (small parties; no glow sticks) over the last year. In his first Detroit appearance, Berlin-based Apparat performs at the festival and this party; Devine has been putting down electro-weirdness on Miami-based Schematic Records for several years. Detroit likes his style, which is all over the digital map.
What: Plugged-In. Doors: 10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Where: The Hub (1344 Broadway, Detroit; 313-961-2000)
Cost: Free. This is an all-day food event with music.
Highlights: Brownstudy, Paul Randolph, Zoetic, Colin Zyskowski
Reason to stay up: After you leave another party at noon, after dancing all night, you should be hungry, right? Here’s a place that will welcome you with open arms — and with no cover charge. Check out some of Detroit’s finest up-and-coming down tempo, hip-hop and computerized nu-funk talent while you sip coffee and eat your early (or late) dinner.
What: Tronic Treatment. Doors: no information
Where: 1570 Woodward Ave., Detroit
Highlights: Adam Beyer, Marco Carola, Andy Garcia, Punisher, Christian Smith, Ben Sims, Suburban Knight and more than a dozen others.
Reason to stay up: Because NYC only travels to the Midwest once a year. Tronic’s Christian Smith brings an expanded repeat of his Sunday takeover of the Underground Stage. All performers are slated to play at least two hours each. This party has no official beginning and no end. If all goes ape-shit as planned, the dancing might continue into June.
What: Listd.net and UniverSoul Party. Doors: 11 p.m.
Where: Fi-Nite Gallery II (1370 Plum St., Detroit; listd.net)
Cost: $20, presale
Highlights: Rich Medina, Theo Parrish, Omar S., Malik Alston feat. E Man, MC Invincible, MC Finale, DJ Defiant.
Reason to stay up: Theo Parrish isn’t playing anywhere else and DJ Defiant is a linchpin of Detroit’s hip-hop community. The flier implies that breakfast may be served at the end.
What: Old School. Doors: 10 p.m.
Where: The City Club, Labyrinth and Studio 54 (586-627-4242)
Highlights: Woody McBride, Terry Mullan, Felton Howard (plus 30 others).
Reason to stay up: Because Detroit used to have a Studio 54 (no joke) and Felton Howard had two working turntables before everyone on the entire lineup.
What: House of OM. Doors: 9 p.m.
Where: Centre Street Lounge (311 E. Grand River Ave., Detroit; 313-963-1300).
Highlights: DJ Sneak, Chuck Daniels, Jason Hodges.
Reason to stay up: Sneak is a major crowd pleaser; Om a major West Coast record label fixture.
What: Paradise. Doors: 9 p.m.
Where: Envy (www.groovetickets.com)
Highlights: John Acquaviva, Thomas Barnett.
Reason to stay up: Richie Hawtin does the hard work during the day at the festival; John Acquaviva, Hawtin’s old partner, rules it at night.
MONDAY • May 30
What: You Make Me Function. Doors: Noon
Where: Foran’s (612 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-3043)
Highlights: John Tejada, Seth Troxler, Greg Mudge (plus 10 more)
Reasons to stay up: Because techno goes better with Guinness. Local heroes plus West Coast head Tejada hold down at a pub that’s within spitting distance of Hart Plaza.
The Detroit legends
The locals who put Detroit on the electronic music map.
A glimpse of Fuse-In international must-sees.
State of grace
Globe-trotting homebody Kevin Saunderson on fame, family and the Fuse-In festival.
By the beat
Quick hit Q&A profiles of Fuse-In attractions.
A handy idiot's guide to electronic music lingo.
For information on Detroit artists mentioned, visit www.metrotimes.com/guide/musicians.Send comments to [email protected]