15 Must See Acts at Movement Detroit 2015
Highly regarded as one of the best dance music festivals in North America, Movement Electronic Music Festival returns to Motor City during Memorial day weekend with a mind-blowing lineup featuring some of the top dance artists around the globe. What sets the festival apart from others is their intelligent mix of popular artists (GRiz, Snoopadelic aka Snoop Dogg, Dog Blood aka Boyz Noize and Skrillex, etc.) Detroit artists of the past and present (Hi Tech Soul, DTM, Model 500, etc. & Gabi, ADMN, Luke Hess, etc.), Fan Favorites (Maya Jane Coles, Maceo Plex, Joseph Capriati, etc.), techno titans (Ben Sims, Cell Injection, Steffi, etc.), and artists who are changing the landscape of dance music (Bob Moses, JETS, Shigeto, etc.). With over 140 artists playing over 3 days, Movement attendees are offered a variety of music to choose from and this year they’ve even added an extra stage to accommodate more artists. Here’s our list of 15 must see acts for Movement Detroit 2015.
Top picks by: Aleah Axiom, Phil Minnick, and Jessica Hruska
What a wonderful way to start this 3-day techno extravaganza as DeepLabs boss Luke Hess will be opening the festival on the Movement stage. As you begin your Movement journey, warm sounds of vinyl will be emanating from the main arena whilst Detroit native Luke Hess mixes a hearty blend of dark hypnotic techno, making it sound like one long natural song.
Making his Movement debut is prolific producer Recondite. Since releasing his first EP in 2011, the German has gained renowned fans such as Scuba, Sam Paganini, and Tale of Us and is slated to release his fourth (!) LP later this year. There’s nothing like seeing a young master of his craft in full form, so prime yourself for an evening of banging beats by indulging in the blissful stripped-down techno of this truly artistic talent.
Kenny Larkin (Live)
With an impressive 20-year music career creating timeless emotive techno, Kenny Larkin returns to his hometown this Memorial Day weekend to perform live on Saturday. The crowd can look forward to perfect afternoon vibes, with jazzy-inspired grooves, soul-laden synths and bass lines that rattle your techno bones.
Long-time Minus man Jon Gaiser has been busy since his last appearance at Movement in 2011. Aside from consistently landing spots in RA’s Top 20 Live Acts polls, he released a kickass EP & LP combo and toured the world with a live visuals show. His tracks are instantaneously identifiable and full of the best types of twists and turns. We can’t wait to see him unleash some goodies from False Light in Hart Plaza.
Currently DJing clubs all around the world, Paul Woolford AKA Bobby Peru AKA Special Request is making a landing in Detroit for Movement this year. He has been producing killer releases on Hotflush recently, such as “Untitled.” Also of note is his 2011 release on Carl Craig’s Planet E, “Achilles.” His minimal house and techno walks a line between experimental and dance floor ready. Woolford’s DJ sets do the same, as Movement tends to bring out the best in everyone.
If there was one big takeaway from our coverage of last year’s Movement Festival, it’s that you don’t miss out on a Robert Hood set. Widely regarded as the godfather of Minimal, Hood’s mixes are heavily rooted in mind-bending techno. This year we get to see his alter ego, Floorplan, unleash even stronger sounds and take bigger musical risks. What better place to challenge a dancefloor then at the Made in Detroit stage at Hart Plaza? Fans will be ready for Floorplan to bring it, and bring it he will.
Definitely save some Sunday steam for what’s sure to be a slayer of a set from Dystopian boss Rødhåd. Since cutting his teeth as an after-hours sound selector in late ’90s Berlin, he can effortlessly go from dub to heavy techno to house within a few tracks. His Movement set proceeds appearances at other globally-recognized events such as Awakenings Festival, T in the Park, and Dekmantel Festival, so come check out his signature sound on U.S. soil while you can.
Bringing the Berlin badassery to Detroit is none other than Berghain mainstay Marcel Dettmann. Dettmann cites Jeff Mills as his earliest techno influence and is known the world over for making big, bad heavy techno combine with deep, melodic goodness. After being denied access into the States for his last scheduled Movement appearance, a B2B set with partner in crime Ben Klock in 2013, we can’t wait to see what he has saved up for this!
Model 500 (Live)
Another golden rule of Movement is that you do not miss a Juan Atkins set. The Detroit techno legend is making an earthly appearance under his Model 500 alias. 2015 saw Digital Solutions, the first full-length Model 500 release since 1999, and a killer release it was. Since 2008 Model 500 has featured Juan Atkins, Mike Banks, DJ Skurge and Mark Taylor. There is no better way to close out the Metroplex 30-year anniversary showcase Sunday night on the Red Bull Music Academy stage… Seriously, do not miss it.
With the highly anticipated release of their sophomore effort, The Chants EP, Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum are pushing the electronic music envelope under their guise, JETS. Expect the duo’s live program to be full of luscious aural textures, incorporating a melodic blend of bass music, RnB, soul, funk, and tantalizing percussive house. It will be a wonderful afternoon treat the last day of the festival.
London’s Joy Orbison has championed his own hybridized garage-house sound that has carved the way for many dance music artists the past few years. Combining elements of two-step, jungle, techno, dubstep and house, Joy O will captivate listeners with a euphoric, high-energy DJ set that dares you to hear music differently.
Detroit Techno Militia Showcase
For three hours on Monday night, you can experience artists from the Detroit Techno Militia record label play epic 30-minute sets back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back-to-back. This will be a special performance that audiences will remember for years to come. This crew will exceed expectations with impeccable mixtures of music spanning multiple decades. Prepare for “mind = blown” moments from Darkcube, Annix, Loner.9, Neil V., Shawn Rudiman, and 313 The Hard Way (DJ Seoul B2B T. Linder B2B DJ Psycho).
Ten Walls (Live)
To say Ten Walls has been on a hot streak lately is a hell of an understatement. Every EP this Lithuanian producer has put out is produced, mixed and mastered with the utmost attention to detail. Marijus Adomaits is the man behind the Ten Walls and Mario Basanov monikers. His breakthrough release “Walking With Elephants” is so refreshing, it’s no wonder it was one of the most spun tracks in Ibiza last summer. Showing no signs of slowing, Ten Walls just released “Sparta,” also on BOSO. Oh yeah, did we mention it’s a LIVE set? Who knows what this will bring, but given the stellar quality of his live productions and DJ sets, you can bet it will be amazing. The spine chilling idea of Ten Walls right before Maceo Plex on the Movement stage makes the weeks leading to the festival feel like an eternity.
!!! (or Chk Chk Chk as far as web browsers are concerned) is a 6-piece band out of Sacramento, CA. As far back as 1995, these guys have been fusing disco-funk with an almost punk rock edge. What makes it extra cool that !!! is playing Movement is they are hot off a killer Record Store Day release, All U Writers, that lands in straight-up house music territory. Not to mention, Allan Wilson, the horn/percussion/keys player is a Deep House/Disco DJ himself. Their set should be outstanding and lead perfectly into a Robotic Peacock favorite, Squarepusher.
Smack dab between Matador and Ben Sims, Sterac will continue the destruction taking place in the Underground stage Monday night. Sterac is also known as the techno outlet of mastermind producer, Steve Rachmad. Rachmad is widely credited for bringing the Detroit techno sound to the Netherlands in the late 90s. “The Hypnoticus” is a 2014 release which combines a dance-floor-dominating bass line with a psychedelic edge that allows it to work in late-night sets (such as Jackmaster’s killer Last Resort set to close out WMC 2015). The Underground stage was made for producers like Sterac; be sure to be there.