Photos: Kyle Goldberg
What could be better than a banging afterparty in an abandoned, marble-floored Masonic temple? Or feeling that guttural pang of excitement as you rise up to the dancefloor in a shoddy freight elevator? Or simply just looking in awe at a forgotten city repping the sound that our entire global scene pays its respects to every weekend?
For three days at the incredible Hart Plaza on the Detroit river, around 100,000 people poured into the city of Detroit for a massive dose of homestyle techno at the 16th annual Movement festival. With one of the biggest line-ups of the entire year and a mouth-watering list of afterparties, techno pioneers Derrick May, Kevin Saunderson, Juan Atkins, Carl Craig and Stacey Pullen were joined by the likes of Loco Dice, MK, Richie Hawtin, The Martinez Brothers and scores more in a celebration of the scene that Detroit built.
With the whole of the downtown area throbbing to a continuous 120-135bpm pulse from Saturday to Monday, it was impossible to come away from the festival feeling you saw it all. But we went in hard, trudging from after-party to after-party, and from the piles of obscure tracks that had never before seen the blue hue of the Shazam app, Mixmag picked out the big ones that defined our Movement festival.
Dakpa - 'Virgo' [AMAM Records]
New York native and multi-talented DJ/producer Matthew Dear dropped this rigid track during his closing set of the Ghostly International Showcase on Sunday night. This little-known release from Baleric producer Dakpa brought it right home.
Reese & Santonio - 'Structure' [KMS Records]
Art Department (still Kenny Glasgow and Jonny White, playing their second-to-last set together) played out this 1988 tune from Reese & Santonio aka Kevin Saunderson and Santonio Echols, at the Movement stage on Sunday. What a better way to get Detroit going than a classic 808-banger from one of its OG's?
Moodymann - 'Dem Young Sconies' [Planet E]
Long-time producer and scene heavyweight Josh Wink dished out a set that stayed true to the scene's roots, and the highlight was this classic 1997 acid techno track from Detroit-legend Moodymann. This one delivers as heavily today as it ever did.
Ramiro Lopez - 'Spirit' [Suara]
It was a family affair on Sunday as Kevin's kids Damarii and Dantiez (aka The Saunderson Brothers) took to the stage to show that the blood runs thick in this budding techno dynasty. While there was a short appearance from a very proud Dad, this soulful selection was all theirs.
Gregor Tresher & Peter Dundov - 'Taurus' [Break New Soil Recordings]
Mixmag heard this one pumping from the sweaty rave-hole that was the Underground stage. It was the perfect tune for the techno vampires that crave the sanctuary of a good concrete bunker.
Sacha Robotti & Kevin Knapp - 'Thump Bumper' [Dirtybird]
Movement is just as much about the expansive list of massive afterparties as it is about the fest itself, and the Dirtybird afters was as memorable as anything we went to. Boss dog Claude VonStroke dropped this blaster showing everyone that Dirtybird raves are always on point.
Lil Louis - 'French Kiss' (Joris Voorn edit) [unreleased]
This Joris Voorn edit of Chicago-house hero Lil Louis's 1989 'French Kiss' appears to be unreleased. Voorn closed out the Beatport stage with an appropriately emotional set to end the weekend, with this track certainly among the highlights.
Bicep - 'Just' [Aus]
During the changeover from Mano Le Tough to Dixon, this cracking new track from Bicep was dropped at the main-stage. Go grab this one from his 'Just' EP, which was released Monday via Aus.
Gianni Firmaio - 'Wasabi' [Mushroom Smile Records]
You can thank Stacey Pullen for dropping this club ready tech-house weapon from Italian rising producer Gianni Firmaio, which is from his recent 'Panic EP'.
Ten Walls - 'Chains And Shackles' [free release]
This tense number from the Lithuanian producer was released for free last year, and when we heard it snarling through the epic mainstage sound system it was like the demonic sirens of techno were tempting you to the rocks.
Honorable Mention: Loco Dice's entire Sunday set. Relentless.