By this time next week, the Movement electronic music festival will have made its hardcore participants want to strap on guitars and start kicking mop buckets for bass drums, screaming “I just wanna … I just wanna rawk.”
Anything producing a steady beat will be squawked at and punched. Cell phones will be chucked through car windows for bleeping. Truth is, it may not matter which parties you catch this weekend. Even the 24-hou-er par-tee peo-ple can get mentally chafed after the 48th hour of speaker sex.
But who cares?
Lame disclaimer: In a vain attempt to sift through the 50-plus pre/ afterparties, we have packed more highlights into this space than does the individual events justice. Many cool events have been left out, and, really, a lot of DJs are playing several events as you can see here. So as long as you don’t take afterparty advice from any Technicolor dream-panted dorks who look like they’ve been incubating in a K-hole for the past eight years, you should be pretty safe this weekend.
A family affair
This Memorial Day weekend is starting even earlier than the past three. Wednesday at Panacea (205 W. Congress) tactfully kicks things off with a tribute to the late godmother of Detroit techno, Laura Gavoor. Gavoor was a vital part of our music community and sets by the 3 Chairs, Derrick May, Rolando, Kenny Dixon Jr. and percussionist Andres are a perfect way to pay homage to a true diva.
Ready to rock
Thursday night at Necto in Ann Arbor (516 E. Liberty St.) is your chance to see Richie Hawtin. Rumors, speculation and smack-talk aside, Hawtin has bowed out of the festival this year without plans for a Detroit-based party as of press time. Magda and Clark Warner warm things up properly at Controlled. Should be mind-bending as expected, but save some juice for the weekend.
Friday evening, you may want to head over to the Hockeytown rooftop (2301 Woodward, Detroit) for Techno Brings People Together (an afterparty for this Thursday afternoon’s seminar at the Detroit Historical Museum of the same name). If you can stomach the ambience, you can go puck yourself with pure Detroit techno from Scan 7, Suburban Knight and Gary Chandler.
Come Friday night, things will get crazy. Citypeople Music and Color host Green Light — Go! at Corktown Tavern (1716 Michigan Ave., Detroit) with Dan Bell, Shake, John Tejada, Mazz, Shawn Reeves, Derek Plaslaiko and the Cynic. Color holds down the patio with John Stoll, Miguel Angel, Kaku, Takaaki, Mikabee and a barbecue for the evening crowd. After a few libations last weekend, the promoters informed us of the surprise guests for this event and, well, damn! You can’t guess from this eclectic lineup, so don’t bother. Just be there or feel chumptastic the next day.
Also worth staying up for on Friday is the first installment of Bump in the Night at Foran’s (612 Woodward, Detroit). DJ sets from Tim “just visiting” Baker, Takaaki (“double-booked”) and Peko should set things off. The inimitable Aril Brikha and Planet E’s Todd Sines play live.
Pulling off the weekend’s most-anticipated event, Paxahau presents YEL at St. Andrew’s Hall (431 E. Congress, Detroit), an unprecedented evening of live techno. If you haven’t bought a pre-sale ticket yet, don’t sleep — it will sell out. Speedy J, the Plus 8/Novamute/Warp artist who’s inspired hundreds of imitators, will be making his first Detroit appearance, which is weird considering his ties and influence here. Stewart Walker turns synths and static into melodic crunch. Vladislav Delay (aka Luomo), who was one of last year’s afterparty highpoints, makes hypermodern, panty-wetting bedroom-tech. Also watch for Keith Kemp and Huren to pitch-slap the schmoozers and wallflowers. On the DJ front, head downstairs to the Shelter for Untitled residents Tadd Mullinix, Derek Plaslaiko, Matthew Dear, and Mike Servito. Again, look for surprise guests to be incognito headliners.
Saturday at detroit contemporary (5141 Rosa Parks Boulevard, Detroit) finds Recloose back in town from New Zealand headlining Select. Expect broken beats and experimental soul from Ayro, Scott Zacharias, Szymanski, Tommy Ferrera featuring Abnrml, John Arnold and Upgrade.
For some low-budget, unpretentious and boozy fun, head to LJ’s Lounge (2114 Michigan Ave., Detroit) for Private Joy with live sets by Wolf Eyes, Buildings Learn (a group featuring Ian Clark of Perspects with Justin Clark and Greg Holm, making their debut) and Midlife Vacation. Adam Goldstone, Tamion Tagteam (featuring C. Samuel and K. Michael of Tamion 12 Inch), Dante Carfagna, Sheer Magic and the usual suspect LJ’s ‘DJs’ will kick things off at midnight. Could be a special guest here too.
Maybe it doesn’t qualify as an afterparty ’cause it’s during the day, but Digital Underground is playing with Ayro at Sunday’s MusikDek event at the Pontchartrain Hotel (2 Washington Boulevard, Detroit). VIPs and industry types aplenty mean this could be a really obnoxious thing where people act all cool when really it boils down to a bunch of glorified nerds networking, but, dude … Digital Underground!?
Organic, known for throwing some of the deeper events in Detroit, presents Freedom Dance at the Masonic Temple’s Crystal Ballroom (500 Temple, Detroit). This party features Joe Claussell, playing a four-hour set of climactic worldbeat house. MKL and Funmi Ononaiye make their first Motown appearance as Organic mainstays Michael Geiger and Mike Huckaby hold forth. Yet another party with surprise guests (that’ll be quite enough, promoters), Freedom Dance is the big one for those seeking spiritual grooves and tribal whatnots.
Last year, the Cannonball Run party on the third floor above the Tangent Gallery (715 E. Milwaukee) was one to remember. This year in the same space, Tamion 12 Inch plays live along with Traxx, BMG of Ectomorph, Carlos Souffront, Derek Plaslaiko (who needs a clone to tough out all the parties he’s booked for) and Jordan Zawideh give you Cannonball (just ‘Cannonball’ because the sequel sucked). Also look for a unique fashion show from Infinite Dimensions. At least in lieu of overtly saying “very special guest,” Landau and IT warn of “the X factor.” But who cares, really? (Seriously, if the surprise guest is a Crave Case from White Castle at 5 a.m., people will be happy.) Out-of-towners take heed.
Also in the Tangent Gallery itself — as opposed to the floor above — is the official Movement afterparty. Derrick May headlines with François K and special guests. Looks like the Tangent is on lock for at least a few hours on Sunday night/ Monday morning.
But if pound-your-head-in techno is still on your plate, Tronic Treatment at the Works (1846 Michigan Ave., Detroit) is what you want. Live performances from User, G-flame, Adam Jay and PJay (relation?) and DJ sets by big-timers Christian Smith, Brian Zentz, Mike Dearborn, Punisher, Cosmic Spore and several others will either remind you of why you fell in love with techno in the first place or make you run screaming (or both).
By now, there are a few traditions associated with the electronic music festival. One of the most notable rituals is Kevin Saunderson’s Global: Encore. In its third year at the Works, Global: Encore has proven itself to be the best way to unwind the fest. Junior Sanchez, Todd Terry, Ron Trent, Saunderson, and the fucking obligatory ‘very special guest’ will greet the sunrise with updated soul-house gems to create a feeling that can’t be explained by delirium alone.
Here are our picks for the Movement Festival:
Lawrence Burden: One of the original members of the early Detroit techno outfit Octave One, Larry Burden (along with his brothers Lenny and Lynell — also members of Octave One) is one of the most criminally underpublicized artists in Detroit.
Jimmy Edgar: The kid is 19 and he has a multialbum deal with Warp (See Aphex Twin, Autechre, Plaid, etc.). This is hyperactive, minced glitch that bounces and sways — a welcome gray area connecting IDM and cool jazz.
Ayro: A post-Motown singer/ songwriter who sounds like he’s got the Funk Brothers trapped in his gear rig; the next step in live soul performance on the Stevie Wonder tip.
John Arnold: His sound can be thought of as a link between Recloose and Ayro, two guys he’s worked with.
Dwele: Dwele’s new album, Subject, dropped last Tuesday on Virgin, and it’s already being touted as a neo-soul classic, thus pushing Detroit’s soul resurgence further into the hip-hop/ electronic crossbreed sector.
The 3 Chairs: Kenny Dixon Jr., Rick Wilhite, Marcellus Pittman and Theo Parrish all share the decks for this unique tag-team performance. Apparently, it’s something like the DJ’s answer to speaking in tongues.
Akufen: This is the cutting edge of sample-based, polymorphously melodic, smooth-glitch.
Thomas Fehlmann: Having worked with artists as widely varied as Underground Resistance and the Orb, Thomas Fehlmann constructs a sonic world that is both thick and elusive.
Amp Fiddler/ Peven Everette: Ever heard of Prince, the Brand New Heavies, George Clinton, Primal Scream or Too Short? Amp Fiddler’s worked with all of ’em; his recent EP, Basementality (Genuine), puts that into perspective. Similarly, Peven Everette’s Studio Confessions (ABB), his work with both Wynton and Branford Marsalis and Roy Davis Jr. make for an interesting couple of résumés in the jazz house arena.Robert Gorell writes about electronic music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected]