By Walter Wasacz
I’m up to my neck in techno these days, getting ready for the impressively massive Movement Festival weekend that beckons.
And when I say massive, I mean it.
On top of three full days and nights (up to midnightish) filling up downtown Detroit’s Hart Plaza with electronically-produced rhythms and sounds, there are enough pre-, after- and other off-site events to keep us dancing all summer if they were to be stretched out over the next three months.
Detroit has long enjoyed a reputation for maximizing the fun of its partygoers. If you add them all up, starting this Friday and ending at some point next Tuesday, it’s all jam-packed into around 100 hours, give or take.
Do I hear a “wow?”
Parties featuring Detroit Techno artists blur into parties featuring Chicago House music legends blur into parties offering up international talent from Germany, France and the UK. Excessive use of the word “blur,” you say? Nope. Underline and repeat often. It’s perfectly descriptive of the wonderfully wild weekend ahead.
But quality matters, right, not quantity? Agreed.
This year’s festival lineup is quality-rich, featuring headliners Model 500 — fronted by Juan Atkins, the eldest of the famed Belleville Three who first began attaching the word “techno” to his productions in the first half of the 1980s; Inner City, the Kevin Saunderson-led group that broke the music wide open with the international club smash “Big Fun” in the late-1980s; and Plastikman, the minimal-acid alter ego of Windsor’s Richie Hawtin (now based in Berlin), the prime mover of the Midwest rave scene of the 1990s.
Other artists from Detroit or with Detroit roots performing at Movement 2010 include Derrick May (who, along with Saunderson, completes the Belleville Three), former Underground Resistance member Robert Hood, Anthony “Shake” Shakir, Jennifer Xerri, Kenny Larkin Jr., K-Hand, John Johr, Kyle Hall, Magda (a former Hamtramck resident now living in Berlin), Monty Luke, Niko Marks, Punisher and, well, more, more, more.
A coup for festival promoters and producers Paxahau is the snagging of trippy tech-house producer/DJ Ricardo Villalobos, who has not played in Detroit (or the U.S. since 2002), largely seen as a protest against this country’s military presence in the Middle East. We’re still at war, but we’re glad he’s back.
Also, there are tons of after-parties and related off-site events at Detroit Threads (10238 Jos. Campau), special in-store DJ guests expected include Pirahnahead, Aaron-Carl and Andy Garcia; plus Jennifer Paull and yours truly of the ambient-disco-dub project nospectacle.
We play records Monday, 3-6 p.m., but talent is spread out over five days, beginning Thursday, May 27. It’s all free and clothes and record shopping are encouraged.
Check out this week’s Metro Times cover story for artist profiles, and more festival and party picks, with links to lineups and schedules. Have a happy holiday and rave away safely no matter where you are.