“Is it time for Movement 2013 yet?” That was the general consensus upon leaving Detroit’s premier electronic music festival. The 3-day Memorial Day Weekend massive celebrated the many roots of electronic music, covering the pioneers and the newcomers of nearly every genre.
The first day started in perfect festival fashion with an eclectic Mushroom Jazz set by Mark Farina that included Garbage’s Stupid Girl and David Bowie’s Fame. A trip to the Red Bull stage yielded some impressive two-step from Salva, while Droog got the Underground Stage hot with their unique tech house selections. Damian Lazarus then perfectly transitioned from day to night with his chill and bouncy Crosstown Rebels sound, while Derrick Carter taught the main stage a thing or two about Chicago house. The real treat on Saturday was a super-trippy back to back Seth Troxler and Guy Gerber set, a journey through deep basslines and constant euphoria. We were also able to catch the tail end of a fun disco house set by Lil’ Louis that seemed a fitting tribute to Donna Summer. The amount of excellent afterparties was mindblowing, but we had to check out the dirtybird crew at City Club. Eats Everything, Justin Martin, Claude VonStroke, and the rest of the gang provided the bouncy soundtrack to an evening of general debauchery as a wild day one came to a close.
The beginning of day two was split between unique sets by Carl Craig and Heidi, both so good that we couldn’t decide where to stay. The choice was made a bit easier when Maya Jane Coles took the Beatport stage, though the original house gangster DJ Sneak did steal some of our attention with his main stage antics. Maya’s wonderful set was a perfect precursor to the sexiest set heard all weekend from none other than Maceo Plex. What a 1-2 punch that was! Not to be outdone, Jamie Jones and Lee Foss (as Hot Natured) rocked a monstrous crowd at the Red Bull stage on the waterfront with dancers swelling over Hart Plaza’s awesome pyramid structure, a surreal site to say the least. Loco Dice had the crowd jumping to his percussive techno before we arrived at arguably the best set of the weekend to close out day two–Claude VonStroke. VonStroke absolutely destroyed the masses, jumping from genre to genre with that infectious dirtybird sound. The bass maestro closed out with Leroy Peppers’ remix of Justin Martin’s Don’t Go, a drum’n’bass monster that made everyone scream and raise their arms to the sky in celebration.
Day three got off to an early start with a Visionquest afterparty (pre-party?) at the Old Miami that opened its doors at 7AM. With Seth Troxler standing at the door to greet guests, you could just tell that the good vibes here would be second to none. Benoit & Sergio had the outdoor crowd grooving before a special appearance from Maya Jane Coles kicked the day into full gear. After a rousing Memorial Day tribute, dOP and Maceo Plex carried the funk into the early evening. With a surprise lineup of that caliber, this was one hell of a party to stumble upon and a great precursor to a beautiful closing day at the festival. We were greeted at Movement by a bruising Chris Liebing main stage set, while things got extra bouncy on the Beatport stage with Joris Voorn and Nic Fanciulli playing back to back. Carlo Lio and Kevin Saunderson both brought techno fire, while Dillon Francis destroyed a raucous crowd at the Red Bull stage with those famously energetic jump-up beats. Finally it was time for the last set of the festival, and Jeff Mills (going by his Wizard moniker) was the perfect man for the job. Spinning vinyl on four decks, Mills seamlessly jumped from hip-hop to funk to disco to techno, throwing in The Bells and closing out with a live performance on a TR-909 that had minds melting in amazement (video below).
Movement is music; the pictures and videos of the festival tell thousands of harmonious words. The roots of EDM, the up-and-comers, the aural variety, the great vibes. All of these things lie at the heart of the festival, making it the best that this writer has ever been to. And in essence, Movement is Detroit. It is fantastic to see an entire city stop and have such love for the music that calls the city home. Even in hard times the city welcomes festival-goers like nowhere else I’ve seen, providing the perfect backdrop to a three-day urban paradise. Electronic music is not just a recreational experience in Detroit, it is a way of life, and Movement is the perfect showcase for the sounds that we here at LessThan3 love so much.