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Movement Electronic Music Festival has begun and Detroit is alive with Techno steadily resonating through every fiber of the city.

The annual Memorial Day weekend festival is a precisely curated festival from the Paxahau event crew, aimed at the deeply knowledgeable Techno fan, but also providing a diverse array of electronic music acts from Drum N Bass (Ed Rush and Optical) all the way to live bands (Will Sessions Feat. Amp Fiddler). Day one is in the books, but there are still two days left for one of the most well respected festivals in the world. Tickets are available via the ticket booth at Hart Plaza, where the event is held, as well as online at this link

Check out the brief picture tour below, and check back for a full detailed review later in the week.

Day 1 Picture Tour:

Carl Craig with Jon Dixon and Niko Marks- Performing a hybrid live set with live renditions of classics such as Strings of Life by Derrick May

 

Too Short in top performance shape, worked through what seemed like an endless amount of songs, and wowed the crowd with pin point lyrical accuracy and a vibe to match

Ed Rush and Optical with their patented Drum N Bass sound, destroyed the dancefloor and did not stop.

Luciano with the peace sign for the D.

The Pyramid Stage with Detroit Skyrscrapers in the background

The Renaissance Center sets the backdrop for Detroit’s Movement Festival.

Check back later for more updates, see you at the fest!

vinyl dj

So vinyl is back and it’s flying off shelves. Sweet. We told you so… Now that the world knows we love wax, we can all start to appreciate the reason for this surge. The DJs. The real ones. The ones who remember what that pitch slider thingy is on those metal wheels.  Sure, everyone has read the stories about vinyl sales rising over 30% in 2013 and that’s awesome, but I’m not really here to talk numbers…  It’s still a fraction of the sales of music as a whole, so it ain’t like it’s a revolution. Most of the people in the world still won’t listen to vinyl, but we will, and that’s all that matters. I will also give credit to the true collectors and the young folks who, although maybe not a DJ, have caught the vinyl bug because of its many great qualities. The packaging, the artwork, and the overall experience of playing a record, it’s truly the most unique way to experience your favorite sounds.

It gives me hope in a controller crazed society, that vinyl (and the labels that press it) still have their place. I don’t hate technology, but I love that we are still preserving an art form within an art form. That art form of course is, the vinyl DJ. Without new vinyl production there would be little inspiration for the vinyl DJ to proceed. Even though Technics have stopped being produced, there is still a clear demand from a dedicated section of the population for records, and turntables to play these records. Even the new fancy controllers emulate the turntable, and with good reason. They did something special when they invented vinyl, and we should always celebrate it. It’s a way to celebrate the music we love with true conviction and commitment. Maybe that’s why it’s doing well, Maybe some people are just starting to care more about what brings them joy. Maybe they are more passionate about the things that help to interpret life. And maybe, just maybe the number of people who think like this is actually growing.

So whether a DJ, a collector, or any other reason, it seems that some are willing to dedicate themselves to preserving the things that make life worth living. As a thank you to those involved in making this a reality here is a list of Detroit stores with quality vinyl from Techno to Jazz and all in between. Go be a part of history and pick up some wax.

Detroit Threads – 10238 Joseph Campeau, Hamtramck, MI

Peoples Records – 3161 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI

Melodies and Memories – 23013 South Gratiot, Eastpointe, MI

Hello Records – 1459 Bagley St., Detroit, MI

Stormy Record – 13210 Michigan Ave, Dearborn, MI

Found Sound – 234 W. Nine Mile, Ferndale, MI

Flames – 51 Hancock, Detroit, MI

Solo Records – 30118 Woodward, Royal Oak, MI

UHF Records – 512 S Washington Ave, Royal Oak, MI

280qs07When I think back to the raves of yore, one of the most stunning things about being a part of this culture in the 90’s was the whole “I don’t believe this is actually happening” feeling of going to warehouse parties, and being in awe at the sheer size of such a quasi-legal event. The whole I-don’t-really-give-a-fuck attitude of promoters at that time is legendary in Detroit, and this led to raves being thrown in some of the most out-of-the-way, abandoned, and all together disused places in the city. For several years spanning the transition from the 20th to 21st centuries, one of the most frequented and controversial “venues” was the Chop Shop.

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Tucked away in an industrial strip on the city’s west side and bordered by blighted neighborhoods, questionable warehouses, and a freeway, the Chop Shop was a place of many great parties, rumors, and memories. Getting its name from the alleged daytime function of the building, the Chop Shop was a go-to spot for a long time and hosted some rather legendary Detroit parties. Adding to the mystique of this place was a DJ booth built from pieces of a chopped car. I spent a greater part of my later high school years hearing DJs from all around the world and dancing my ass off in this sprawling warehouse. Even today I still run into old heads who reminisce about some of the crazy times had at the Chop Shop.

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As with all former rave venues, at some point the Chop Shop fell on hard times. Increased Detroit Police attention on raves, coupled with a constant stream of shady promoters and the hard reality of being an illegal venue plunged the place into the lexicon of Detroit rave history. Sometimes I wish we still had a spot like this, as it seems the only place I hear techno is in a bar or club these days. But like all musical phenomenon, if the Chop Shop had existed at a different time in history it may not have become as legendary and unique place as we remember it to be.