My day began with a theatrical imaginary food eating performance from an Asian Pokemon princess raver and a 40 year old woman dressed like Raggity Ann with pink hair; feeding each other bites of imaginary berries one by one with the utmost sincerity. The funniest part, immediately after the performance and celebratory dance to the DTM 5×5 set, the Pokemon raver literally pulled out a non imaginary granola bar (Kashi) and began truly eating real food. Coincidence? I think not. Government Conspiracy? I think so… or maybe all the imaginary eating made her hungry.
Artist Review Breakdown
Calverton and Figure
Loud ass dub step. Refer to all other dubstep for a decent example of what this might sound like. It was loud, slow, and full of dreadlocks.
Hot ass analog techno! They brought the kitchen sink for this one. On board they would have a 909, an MPC, a keyboard, an Electron Machinedrum, and a few other gadgets I couldn’t quite make out. This was raw Detroit at it’s finest. If there is one thing I love, it is techno made on the spot with analog gear. Nothing sounds better echoing off buildings in tha D.
DTM 5×5 Techno, with the flare of five raw dudes coming together under one purpose. Seoul tears it up with the scratching as usual, Psycho brings the bangin techno gems, Darkcube with the leftfield vinyl, Neil V remains true to techno, and T.Linder brings his high energy and seasoned skills. They Brought the fire. The 90 plus degree heat was no match for the flames DTM blew out. A perfect exclamation point to the District 909 live set.
Boo Williams and Glenn Underground
Real bangin house music. These guys brought it strong. I wouldn’t have thought a house set would go over well on the uber-ravey underground stage but I stood in amazement as the crowd was rocked from head to toe with a refreshing blend of very pure, deep, and organic house music for grown folks. Some people couldn’t handle the subtle funkyness, in need of more in your face over-indulgent stuff, but for a house head like me this was bliss.
No non-sense techno, very streamlined, deliberate, fast, and dark . A new Robert hood joint in the middle and plenty of real Detroit spirit all over the place. This was one of the most solid sets of the day in my opinion. This guy should get more love and come around more often.
One of the more lively and well received tech-house displays I have ever seen. A true master at his craft. Intermittent flutes and strings fluttered between grinding hard beats with bass lines that would murder even in a zombie video-game. Seriously hard and technical. He actually had that underground stage sounding listenable. Less reverb than most other sets. He worked the space well. I am a new fan.
Someone described it to me as new school techno (or dub). I guess I am not sure what to call it, but I know it was done very well. 2 x-1 midi controllers and a mixer. Traktor made an impression on me it hadn’t before … The act of DJ’ing was not lost in this set, he still rocked it like it should be. And I rarely see that with controller DJs.
What can I say? Every song you would want to hear, you heard it … Green Velvet rocked it with passion, although only behind the mic for this set, he commanded the crowds energy and brought them to an electric state with 2 juke dancers, a DJ, and keyboardist playing his legendary tracks. When I rolled in Velvet had already begun destroying the main stage and the people were in full bounce-mode. A remix of “flash” was dropped that became the favorite of the night, and perhaps the weekend. That would set the bar for Monday, and Fatboy Slim would have to reach down deep to match that energy.
Straight Techno, great mixing, and scientific like demeanor. Not many peeps at the stage, but those that were got an occasional vocal sample to please the patient ear. I applaud Claude.
If you know lotus than you know what to expect, killer hop hop beats with some real unique undertones. This set was complete with a “We almost lost Detroit” drop, a “Return of the Mack” edit, and some live shit mixed with some chill shit. I bumped into a few deushes, but it’s expected…and what I really want to say is the over bleeding sound from other stages (mostly the main) is just downright disrespectful to artists on other stages. I feel there were volume issues all weekend. Mostly, it was too loud. Except for Flying Lotus at the Redbull waterfront stage. All I could hear was Fatboy Slim bass-lines in the middle of Lotus’ set. That makes neither good in my opinion.
Adam Beyer OK, this was one of the hardest and well mixed sets of the weekend. Beyer had the Beatport sound-system rumbling like World War 3. I seriously think I felt my heart tap me on the chest and tell me to move out of the area, or it was going to explode. I really love this guy, and every time I see him play it seems to be better than the last time. Adam Beyer is awesome.
He played some good house, some bad house, some commercial house, some remixes, and he “technically” did it well. I like tea that comes in different cups.
Yo gabby gabby raver, complete with boombox accessory and furry orange hat. A lot of time was spent to look like this… but why? a rare sighting of the glowstick hoarding leprechaun woman. She got me shiny lights. And then there was the ski-goggles and gas-mask marauder. See pic below… At least you could say he had dedication to a dying art. Literally… Dying of drug induced heat exhaustion from complete stupidity. Thanks for ruining the warehouse scene, Dick.
Even as we exited the venue at almost midnight throngs of people lined the street of Jefferson around the Ren Cen. It felt very cool and happening in Detroit this night. I was surprised how many patrons actually stayed to see the end. A nice sight to witness Detroit truly alive on memorial day. The tradition of electronic music was commemorated justly with many of the loyal tech-festers giving everything they had on a 95 degree day all the way until midnight. The sound bleeding was terrible, the loudness was borderline ear damage negligence, but the music, for the most part, was inspiring and genuine.
Now I’m not one of these “Derrick May has to end every festival” purists, but Fatboy just seemed an off choice for the last, and supposedly most important performance of the weekend. Don’t get me wrong, I think it was a strong marketing move on Paxahau’s part. But for the true Detroit crowd it felt a bit forced. I am not downplaying Slim’s skills.. His mixes were very tight and his songs kept energy after a near impossible-to-follow Green Velvet set. But what got me was the amount of commercial sampling I heard within Mr Slim’s set. I am all for a cool drop or two, but he seemed to be pandering to the laymen when it came to this electronic set. Call me a snob, but I actually don’t like when I know almost all the tracks in a set, I like to be shown new things, as well as remember the old. When a Beyonce sample and “put your hands up in the air” edit, along with a hard-house version of “eye of the tiger” are all in the same 30 minutes, it feels like your trying to hard. But hey, what do I know , “I have to praise you like I should…” or not. PS- the eye of the tiger song had a 2 minute vocal breakdown. It was epic, and a weird way to close out a great weekend. Seriously, there was too much good music to let any of the bad overshadow how lucky we are in Detroit to have such great local talent, and such international respect. It is truly a beautiful thing! Thank you Paxahau. Thank you Detroit. Thank you slimey raver hippies who actually tried to avoid wiping your party-scum on my clothing as you stumbled by. Thanks to all the patrons, who actually behaved themselves quite well, and made me proud to be a Detroiter. Here’s to Movement 2011. Another one in the books. History continues to be made. Detroit remains a vibrant part of the past and future of this crazy little thing called electronic music. Until next year, Walter Glasshouse signing off.