Editor’s Picks: Top 10 Acts of Movement 2015
If one thing’s for sure, our friends at Paxahau know how to throw a party. We were delighted to be part of the ninth edition of Movement Electronic Music Festival, and witnessed some of our favorite sets so far this year at the annual Memorial Day weekend bash. From brutal techno to experimental electronica to soulful house, the festival delighted electronic fans of all shapes and sizes. It was harder than ever to choose our top 10 artists of the weekend, but here it is!
Shortly before sunset, techno mastermind Gaiser brought his A-game to Carl Craig’s Detroit Love Showcase on the Made In Detroit Stage. His set was full of new material and unreleased goodies, settling in that perfect spot between tech-house and heavy techno. The Detroit-themed visuals were on point and the crowd happily bounced along through his skillful ups and downs, a highlight of which was 2014’s “Where Are We.”
Ah, The Underground. Home of countless sweaty ravers, minimalistic lighting, and some of the darkest sounds you will ever experience. Paula Temple was a pleasant surprise – a true escape from the Movement norm. It was the heaviest thing we’ve seen all year, and we saw Slayer in April. She took us for a ride, and although the bang factor was at 100%, it still sounded like music. Now that is techno.
ATOM and Tobias (Live)
The crowd at the Beatport stage grew like an infection as ATOM and Tobias curated beats and melodies from outer space. Using a mix of analog and digital components for their live set, the twosome was on point as they played a beautiful amalgam of brooding techno beats and jazzy melodies. It was a perfect soundtrack for the sunset sky, drenched in colors of pinks, oranges, purples and blues.
Henrik Schwarz (Live)
With a background of releases on everything from Ostgut Ton to !K7 to Defected, it’s clear that Henrik Schwarz breaks boundaries in all the best ways. His set was no different. Right out of the gate, he captivated us with his dimensional layers of sounds, emotional tones, and ability to make the crowd feel like one pulsating entity. Synths, bleeps, and vocals all had their turn at center stage. We would see him again tonight if we could. Video by arvydas0069.
Bringing a different vibe to the Underground, techno master Marcel Dettmann kept the crowd on his toes as his showcased his world-renowned ability to mix pounding bass with complex melodies. The tracks he brought were a perfect fit for the system, so deep they seemed to resonate in your chest. He brought the energy levels up and down effortlessly, hypnotizing us and the rest of the crowded room more and more as his set went on.
Ghostly International showcased their talented roster on the Made In Detroit stage on Sunday, culminating in an epic DJ set by stage headliner Matthew Dear. Dear is a mad scientist behind the decks, unleashing an arsenal of intellectually constructed dance music that programmed all the brains in the crowd and manipulated them to get absolutely freaky. It was impossible to leave the set, as we all waited in anticipation just wondering what the next wave of aurally pleasing sounds would sound like and oh, how it would make us dance! Video by ILoveDetroitMichigan.
With the success of their sophomore release, the Chants EP, JETS was a highly anticipated act at the show, drawing many cameras to the Red Bull Stage. With the spotlight on them, Jimmy Edgar and Machinedrum, known together as JETS, championed the crowd with their sexy and smooth brand of experimental electronic music. With romantic synth chords, analogue-drenched basslines and soul-warming vocal clips, JETS wooed the crowd from the very opening with “U-N-I.” The duo’s sound is on fleek and their memorable songwriting will be stuck in your head for days.
High energy, impeccable track selection, and spot-on mixing were just a few key features of Paco Osuna’s sunset sonic voyage on the Beatport stage. A packed house from the top of the stairs to the edge of the river moved in unison to each and every beat drop as Paco reminded us just how fun techno can be. There was no easier time to lose yourself in the music all weekend – we even saw the guys from !!! getting down! Video by Rooz Mohazzabi.
313 The Hard Way
Playing for a short but sweet 30 minutes, DJ Seoul, T. Linder and DJ Psycho of the Detroit Techno Militia showed the audience what real DJing looks like – a work of complex art in constant motion and always evolving. Performing under the appropriate guise “313 The Hard Way,” the trio flawlessly fused bits and pieces of a dance music smorgasbord with a performance highlighted by DJ Psycho using a Speak & Spell. It sounded like 7 minutes in heaven with the devil in the best way possible. This outstanding performance demonstrated why these guys not only belong in the DJ hall of fame, but also take their place among history’s very best.
Being one of the only bands at the festival didn’t impact the dudes of !!! (pronounced chk chk chk). In fact, these guys were one of the most energetic performances all weekend. The crowd was so hyped as the group played fan favorites as well as a couple of new tracks. Bandleader Nic Offer was commanding in aura and presentation, exercising theatrics and vigor that rivaled the most amped up kid in the crowd. The band was crisp and had even the trees dancing in the cool breeze.
Who were your favs? Tell us below, then check out all of our photos here!
See you next year, Movement xx