Archives For Movement Festival 2017

Photo by Oddsock / CC BY 2.0

For the 4th year in a row we proudly present the definitive Movement Festival Survival Guide as a companion to our Movement 2017 after party list. This year’s survival guide features 13 essential recommendations (#1 and #13 are my favorites). Enjoy!

#1 Don’t try to re-live the past: For some of you this may be your first year at Movement, for others it’s a ritual you’ve been practicing since the turn of the new millennium. Whatever brings you to Detroit on these most holy of days in the electronic music world, I urge you to throw off any expectations for the weekend. Things change, people change, music tastes evolve, love interests come and go, with every new day you’re a new person and THIS WILL BE A NEW EXPERIENCE SO LET IT BE EXACTLY THAT. Don’t try to fit this weekend into your expectations, keep your plans loose, your eyes wide, and your heart open to what may come.

#2 The big secret: you don’t need a ticket to have fun: Movement has come a long way since the days when it was called DEMF and it was free to the public. These days I can barely justify the $200+ general admission myself, HOWEVER, you can still have a great time on little or no budget. I mean Detroit has great electronic music going on regardless of the festival. That said, if you’re ultra broke like Dave Chapelle on a date in “Half Baked” kinda broke, there are plenty of FREE daytime events and after parties (such as this party and this party), cheap coney dogs 24/7 at Lafayette Coney (even cheaper and better at Duly’s Place if you aren’t a scared little bitch), and Detroiters on the corners hawking $1 bottled water all day long. The real party starts each night after the festival ends though. If you only have between $10-40 in your pocket, spending it on one or two incredible after parties and saving money and energy by NOT attending the festival is a pretty savvy move.

#3 Procrastination is for losers: Getting into the festival will take longer than you think that first day. Period. If there’s a performance you really want to catch, figure out how much time you’ll need to get there and double it. If you’re early (not likely) cool, grab a drink, find someone with soft lips and a nice butt that knows how to shake it, and take them to the front of the stage to see that special artist up close and personal.

#4 Grab a Schedule: Even if you get a paper schedule at the entrance, make sure someone in your crew has a list of set times and after parties handy. I love the Detroit-based website (just be sure to read their instructions the very first time you visit the site). For after parties see our comprehensive Movement 2017 after party list curated by DJ Walter Glasshouse. If you’re a total noob or just don’t want to try at life anymore, check out the Movement App for Android or Movement App for iPhone.

#5 Pace yourself: Going super hard the first day is a rookie mistake. Newcomers will often put all their energy into the first day, afterparty way too hard, and miss all the great acts the next day at the festival. Let loose, have a crazy time, but treat your body with respect. Save that energy for the hours when you’re really going to want it. There are at LEAST three days and four nights of constant partying that can be had. Choose your battles wisely, rest whenever it feels right, drink water, eat a damn banana. Don’t end up looking like a meth head’s mugshot by day three. The seasoned festival goers will still be beating up that dance floor at 10pm Monday night, and they’ll look damn good doing it. Strive for that.

#6 Michigan weather is nuttier than squirrel shit: This year the weather in Detroit is supposed to be pretty normal for late May and that means jack shit. Our weather is always unpredictable and this year will be no exception. Bring sunglasses (for sun and those potentially bloodshot eyes), an umbrella or poncho, and two more changes of clothes… both long and short sleeve because it’s gonna get chilly at night and you may be walking at some point (our mass transit sucks and the new Q-Line won’t be taking you to any cool after parties).

#7 Heroes from the hometown always throw down: Every year we encourage readers to check out Detroit’s homegrown talent. Kicking off Movement 2017 is genius Detroit hip hop producer Wajeed at the “Stargate” stage and it’s gonna be amazing. Detroit artists feel a huge responsibility when they’re booked for Movement and you better believe they deliver. This year we’ll see Detroit techno legends stretching their artistic wings with mutiple live sets from Kevin Saunderson as E-Dancer, Audion (Matthew Dear), Octave One, and Carl Craig performing his highly anticipated Versus Synthesizer Ensemble. Even Windsorite and one-time adopted son of Detroit, Richie Hawtin, will be doing some weird live shit with his CLOSE audiovisual project.

#8 Explore Detroit: Detroit is a more beautiful city than you can imagine. STEP OUTSIDE the festival/downtown bubble for a few hours. There’s a reason we produce such passionate artists in Detroit; the city is dripping with pride, bursting with soul, and her biggest muscle isn’t her cars and tough reputation, it’s her heart and the deeply warm people who make this city so alive. Rent a bike for a ride down the Riverwalk or up the Dequindre Cut, take a breather at the newly renovated Belle Isle State Park, get some pre-festival refreshments at historic Eastern Market, eat at Taqueria El Rey in Southwest Detroit, arrange a tour of Detroit’s Techno Museum, visit the Detroit Institute of Art, check out The Heidelberg Project before it disappears forever. Whatever you do, take a couple of hours to renew and refresh yourself outside of the downtown area, it’ll make your entire experience more complete, and a little more magical.

#9 Protect your hearing: I’m a music producer so my hearing is my life. And I know you love music too so don’t be a dumbass and lose your hearing over one music festival. Sound pressure levels at this event reach over 115dB and cause permanent hearing damage after just a few SECONDS of exposure. The vending booths that sell candy and gum also sell earplugs at reasonable prices. There are even branded Movement earplugs for sale that basically turn down the volume slightly without muffling the sound. They’re not the best protection but it’s way better than nothing. Personally, I buy a big box of earplugs at the drugstore, fill a pocket, and make new friends by giving them out to lovely people I meet 🙂

#10 Wearing proper foot gear is a must: This isn’t Coachella or Burning Man. Heart Plaza in Detroit is not a public park or a pristine ecosystem. Three quarters of the environment is concrete, concrete with poor drainage when it gets full of festival garbage. You’re in an industrial city so let your footwear reflect that. Open toe shoes are a great way to get your pretty pedicured digits stepped on, nails broken, and feet covered in the foulest varieties of rave goo. Dark boots or shoes are recommended, steel toes are the real MVPs.

#11 Keep it clean: It’s gonna get, wet, warm, and sticky, and you’re probably going to start to stink at some point. Do everyone a favor and stay fresh. It kills the vibe to be overwhelmed with the stench of someone’s funky human musk. Bring deodorant, a face wipe, a change of underwear at least, and probably a change of clothes each day. Not only will everyone around appreciate it, but it’s a fantastic feeling to put on fresh clothes for the evening after a hot sweaty day of dancing.

#12 Bring a new face to the festival: If you’re a jaded raver, there’s no remedy for cynicism like taking along someone who’s never been to Movement. Seeing the eyes of a newcomer light up with wonder and amazement when they first take in the sights and electrified sounds of Heart Plaza makes the experience as new for you as it is for them. This is the festival at its best, being alive and aware in the moment and creating memories with the beautiful people at your side.

#13 Get lost: At some point this weekend, ditch your friends, put the schedule away, forget yourself, and just wander. Use your ears, let the goosebumps take you where they may, trust your gut and I guarantee you’re going to have one of the most visceral and beautiful experiences of this weekend.

Peace, love, and techno ♥️ — B.Aware

Where’s the Jungle?

Laura Bailey —  May 16, 2017 — 2 Comments

“Where’s the jungle?” has been a question on my mind since my last jungle write-ups in 2014 (links at the end). Many have accused us junglists of being a dying breed – loving a form of electronic music that is not liked by enough people to be played… though I beg to differ. Drum N Bass has been making a comeback along with its amen-driven predecessor, jungle. Sure it will never be “popular”, but the underground scenes are where my heart lies (and I know yours does too if you’re reading this). This year, I am delighted to write, jungle has found its place close to home again. For those of you who are wondering where to find good jungle & DNB this festival season, you’ll be pleased to learn what our fair city has to offer for Movement goers and Detroiters alike. Detroit may be the birthplace of techno, and I am all about supporting our homegrown talent, but I assure you, fellow junglists and DNB-heads, your prayers have been recognized and will be answered in the coming years. Starting now!

Thursday, May 11th, at a neighborhood bar in Hamtramck called Trixie’s. Formally a place called Turtle & Inky’s, an old house turned bar/restaurant. A fat man, possibly German, stands on top of the building holding a mug that reads “City Club”. A mural depicting downtown Hamtown decorates the large wooden fence that separates the sidewalk from the backyard of the bar. A green light gleams above the front door to welcome customers. Walking inside, a foosball table is to my left, the bar ahead, and the stage is to my right. Four men and five turntables are set up and a crowd watches them in awe. This is what I came for – a monthly thrown by Steve Drones, producer, mixer, artist, and promoter. Steve is a junglist at heart, though one might catch him playing breaks, trip hop or hip hop just as often. Trixie’s is the perfect place for him. It is intimate and interesting. People I know and don’t know move about the bar – conversations, laughter, dancing, smoking out back. Everyone either there for the music, the vibes, or both, like myself – I watch the turntablists intently, then dance a bit, hear a flawless cut and my attention turns to the performers again. I get distracted by the lovely scenic slideshow on the TVs around the venue, the string of colored lights held up by coat hooks along the far wall, and the old obscure vinyl records resting on a shelf above them.

“Good Vibes & Heavy Breaks” is the name of this breakbeat show and it’s held at Trixie’s the second Thursday of every month. You can expect to hear all of the aforementioned genres with the mastery of turntables that only scratch DJs know. And that is what Steve is showcasing tonight – a scratch cypher (cypher meaning artists jamming together). He mixes beats in the background, upper stage right. Jacoby Cataclysmic is to his left with a deck, mixer, and a scratch record. Down front are Joey P and Dave Petty Cash, both with a deck, mixer, and a record each. All three take turns scratching over Steve’s mix – stabs, scribbles, and stutters. I won’t bore you with my lack of scratch terminology, though if you’re interested to learn more about their techniques, YouTube DMC World Championship videos and educate yourself. The film “Wave Twisters” with Q-Bert’s score turned me on to scratch DJing when I was younger. And I’ve been a fan since I watched my first scratch video from ’96 of the X-Men battling the Invisibl Skratch Picklz at the International Turntablist Federation world finals. They make it look easy (and incredibly fun), but believe me, it’s a skill that takes a lot of time and patience to hone and it helps to be musically trained.

Cataclysmic, Petty Cash, and Joey P rock it one after another. I can’t say who played best, but it’s all about the play anyway. Drones jumped in for a bit as his special guests had breaks on the break. After Steve’s turn, Joey P took upper right and started to mix some jungle tracks. Cataclysmic returned to his post on stage and scratched a bit over Joey P’s mix. Then, like a true music nerd, he sat down behind the drum set that is always on stage at Trixie’s. He quietly began to tap in beat, finding patterns to sync with the mix. I wanted to yell to Jacoby to play louder, but he was playing for himself, immersed in his own world where only he and the music could reside. I live for these moments – improvised, live music that will never be replicated, the artist in a world of his or her own, the crowd enjoying the hell out of it, feeling good and loving life. I watched the drummer till he stepped down, then I danced to jungle till I broke a sweat. Good Vibes & Heavy Breaks will never disappoint a junglist. I’m certain that anyone who truly loves the rhythmic complexity of this style of music loves anything Drones will play and promote. Turntablism is an art that all us junglists appreciate, not to mention percussive elements like the old school drum patterns we hear on top of heavy bass lines (drums and bass).

Drones is keeping the jungle alive this festival season by featuring Michigan jungle and DNB DJs at Trixie’s on Memorial Day for a Junglist Throwdown featuring artists from Labelless Records out of Columbus, OH. Here’s a link to the show: Steve Drones will also be performing at a DNB show on Sunday the 28th, downtown at Checker Bar. This event will be MASSIVE! Here’s a link: Headlining is Dom & Roland, a long-time DNB producer from the UK on Moving Shadow and Metalheadz records. Jamal from San Francisco and Jaybee from Tampa are also headlining. When I saw that Dom & his Roland were coming to Detroit, I danced around my living room. This will be a treat for all junglists and I have to thank the DnBid crew from Chicago for making it happen. Plus they added two legit producers (Jamal & Jaybee) to the lineup with a handful of Detroit & Chicago talent.  For those of you who don’t know the headliners, check them out (see below). They are staples. Recognize!

My favorite Dom & Roland track, “Deckard’s Theme”:

Dom’s classic ’98 album “Industry”:

Jamal’s “Jungle Music” off DJ SS’s “Back to Jungle” album, released in 2014:

Jaybee’s “No Need to Worry”, released this year:

Back to that question, where’s the jungle? It’s here, downtown, uptown, in my head and hopefully in yours now too. Love what you love and hopefully others will love it soon. Author Anais Nin wrote, “Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.” She’s right. We all love music whether it be jungle or techno, rock or hip hop. The genres that seemingly separate us actually bring us closer together. We are all parts of the same magic. If you see me this festival season, come melt with me and let’s make magic. \(^.^)/

Interested in reading more about the Detroit jungle scene? Check out these articles about Konkrete Jungle Detroit, a collective consisting of Detroit DNB/jungle DJs who had played Movement 2014-2016.

“An Evening with Konkrete Jungle Detroit”:

“Konkrete Jungle Detroit’s “Rewind!” with Soundmurder & SK-1”:

Photo taken of Steve Drones spinnin’ at Trixie’s courtesy of Chelsi “Sonic Femme”.