Memorial Weekend…the Techno Christmas we look forward to all year long. A time of great music and even greater after-parties; a time when friends from near and far flock to Detroit for 3 days of dancing bliss; a time to forget about the stress of life and come together for one giant party. This year didn’t disappoint, with lots of great music, agreeable weather, and a countless number of good times.
Saturday started off with the annual amble around Hart Plaza to see the layout of the festival this year. I didn’t have to wander long before I got stopped by Israel Vines live set at the Opportunity Detroit stage. Banging techno to get my day started. The Opportunity Detroit stage was a total shining star over the weekend, showcasing some of the amazing local talent that often doesn’t get the attention it deserves. Next stop was Kyle Hall who threw down a fantastic set that blurred the lines of Detroit techno and house mixed in his flawless manner. I took a few minutes to get out of the sun and was blown away by Kyle Geiger’s live techno set! Pounding, pulsating and undulating hard techno, exactly what I like to hear on the Underground Stage. Caught bits and pieces of Carlos Souffront and Four Tet before settling in to the main stage to watch Maceo Plex and Kraftwerk. Maceo Plex, as always, brought a fire set that had everyone dancing. There’s a reason this dude plays every year. Kraftwerk brought their visually amazing and robot-studded 3D show immediately after, which was a welcome treat for anyone who missed their last go around at the Masonic last autumn. Having the group that founded the sounds of electronic music made a fitting close to the first day.
Sunday the first stop was Opportunity Detroit to catch a little bit of the electro fire that is DJ Seoul. As always, banging electro beats and turntablist tricks that make for a great set. Next up was Black Madonna who banged out a hard set on the Redbull stage and had the crowd on its feet the whole time. Black Madonna gets my vote for most under-rated set of the festival. A crowd favorite, she got into every track with passion and charisma. It oozed out the speakers and left everyone drenched by the end of her set. I then tried to catch Ame on the Beatport stage, but the constant rush of bros and fuckboys back and forth constantly made it unbearable. Loco Dice, another Movement mainstay, made it readily apparent that he should indeed be back every year. His take on minimal is significantly more inspired than the name would suggest. He flawlessly pounded the main stage with his signature style, and it was extremely proper. While meeting up with friends and taking a little rest on the grass, we were graced with some funky grooves from Amp Fiddler and Will Sessions. This was a nice break from the usual fare of the festival and also one of the few bands there this year. Wandering back to Opportunity Detroit we caught Mike Huckaby playing some jumping house and making people bust out their dancing shoes. The rest of the evening for the most part was planted at the Made in Detroit Stage to catch some great techno from Ellen Allien and a smashing closing set from true Detroiter Eddie Fowlkes.
Monday is always the great day of recovery and late arrivals to Hart Plaza. After some necessary lounging and relaxation, I made my first stop to catch Delano Smith at the Made In Detroit Stage who was bringing a great house set that got the evening going. Next stop was J. Phlip who was bringing the “Dirtybird sound” to the crowd at the Redbull stage. Not finding this particularly stimulating, I made my way underground to catch a little bit of Chicago house and acid at the hands of DJ Pierre, which was totally awesome. Next up was some super hype house from MK and some Jungle bidness with Dilemma and MC Bombscare, both of which were fantastic. Watching the last half of Chris Liebing’s live techno set was one of my favorites of the whole weekend. Constantly evolving and swelling techno with amazing visuals that had the crowd wanting more. Modeselektor made a rare North-American festival appearance and it did not disappoint. Hints of IDM, Techno, Electro, and most everything in between overwhelmed the crowd and created an energy unlike any I had experienced the entire weekend. They played up the set with jovial gestures to the packed main-stage, and the crowd gave right back. Being the first time seeing Modeselektor I was quite impressed. The German duo did right by Detroit, and we thank them for that. All in all, the last day of the festival was pretty dope, yet a test of stamina for sure.
Overall it was a great weekend for Techno and Detroit. Tons of people showed up and danced their asses off. Beyond the music, the best part of the festival every year is the friends and people. No matter who is playing or what is going on, the constant love, companionship, and expression is truly what makes Detroit’s Movement festival so special. Thank you to all of our friends that made it out for a joyous celebration of life once again on Memorial Day weekend.
Now enjoy a side quest from one of our photographers:
Another point to mention was the No Way Back after-party hosted by Interdimensional Transmissions. It was the strangest night that I have ever encountered. I remember walking into the party and then all of a sudden waking up in my bed, frightened and covered in sweat. It was 12:00 PM the next day. I called my friends and they assured me that the party was great but that I wasn’t around that much. Nobody could explain the lost time that I am now burdened with. Every night I now have visions of alien obduction and seeing a room with children that look like me, like the aliens have been cloning my DNA! The weirdest part is that there is also this small asian man that is DJing on the ship. Fucking crazy, I know! I think the stargate at Hart Plaza had something to do with it. I knew it was trying to steal my energy all damn weekend. I guess we’ll never know…..