Although the Memorial Day weekend is way over, I still need to talk about what an awesome weekend I had at the Detroit Electronic Music Festival a.K.a The Movement 2006. Fortunate for me the volunteer coordinator (Jake Snarski) from WDET gave me a call to volunteer during the weekend long festival & I quickly replied with “yes, sign me up now dammit.” I was really excited about this opportunity because I have been wanting to go to the Movement since it began back in 2000 but never found the time to do so.
So my shift was 4-8 on Saturday & when I arrived downtown Detroit, all I could hear was the thumping sound of bass & people all around me. As I got closer to Hart Plaza, the sound got louder & more energetic & I was getting pretty pumped. Another volunteer fro WDET met me at the gate with my little have tag & bracelet to get in & from there it was on.
We finally get to the WDET booth & nothing much was going on there as we basically had some giveaways & a CD raffle. Other than this, we just chilled actually chilled is the wrong word because it was hot as fuck with the sun beating down on our tent. Even though it was so hot & I was directly in the sun, I just sat there because it did feel good. Other than the sun feeling so good on my skin, the best thing to me was that we were positioned directly across from the Main Stage & for 2½ hours I got to hear DJ Mike Clark set the stage on fire. I had heard of Mike Clark before but never his music so all I can say is that he is the shit & I bought one of his cd’s (kinda bootlegged CD-RW) but I cannot stop listening to it “Agave, the Early St”.
Ok now I have be slow roasting for about 2+ hours & I need a break from doing nothing, so I wander around to the Real Detroit stage & YES more great music by a team of DJ’s (Drew Maddox & Eric Cloutier) that were turning it out. I hung out there for a bit, but had to move on to see what else was available which led me to the Beatport stage, which was not that happening, so I made my way back to the WDET booth.
It’s now 8pm & my shift is over & now time for me to have my own individual party. At this point I wandered stage to stage checking out the sites | sounds etc & let me tell you, there were way more sites than sounds. I love to watch people when out & about at large events & there was so much to see it was not even funny, see my pictures to get a glimpse of what I saw & experienced visually. There were people dressed as large dolls, men in bikinis, vampires, urban drug addict cow bows & anything else in the middle.
As I made my way around, I stopped at the Pyramid stage & heard some awesome Techno by DJ Alan Abrahams (aKa Body Codes) from Portugal by way of South Africa). While digging Alan Abrahams, I kicked it with a Vergel Evens (Toronto) who has a Techno Blog/Podcast that he was promoting at the Movement. Since after the festival Vergel is still being discussed in Detroit, because while here, he pushed out 300+ copies of his Assembler Techno Fanzine
(Check out the story here on Detroit techno Militia ).
Shortly after the Bodycode set, I was actually able to kick it with him on house music & the global appeal. He was telling me about all of the festivals that he is doing around the world in like a 2-3 week period & it was like 2 a week all over the damn place, which seems amazing. He did mention that he could not wait to get back home to Lisbon (Lisboa) to relax on the beach while smoking a cigarette.
Because I am me, (a true Negro), I had to take the conversation a step further & asked him what it was like to be Black in Lisboa or Portugal in general for that fact. Basically he told me that life is good there & better than minority life in the UK, where he lived for several years. He also stated that there is a large African population in Portugal so he sees friendly faces where ever he goes.
After all of my little chit chat I wondering around more then stop in at the Beatport tent/stage where the crowd was too hype & packed with dancers. As I make my way through the thick crowd to get closer to the stage I see one of my now favorite DJ’s on the 1’s & 2’s; Troy Pierce & he had the crowd out of control. Troy was so fucking off the hook that an elderly lady got out of her little motorized scooter & started dancing about & then the next thing I know the crowd is shouting “Go Granny, Go Granny, Go Granny, Go Granny, Go) & she has a few guys around her making it even more intense. It’s now 10:30, Troy is still on & I have been dancing & talking for about 2 hours straight.
During the troy pierce set, I met some people that came from California, Lisbon, Toronto, Ohio, Sacramento & Ireland that all came to Detroit just for this festival, how awesome is this. While in the Beatport tent, I got several contact buzzes, this was only an added bonus & an offer for X which I did not take; I was not that into it.
After everything was said & done, it was 11 pm, I was tired, hungry, sweaty & nature was calling like nobody’s business. I make my way home after making a stop at The Woodward for a late dinner & a few cocktails (caution, they have the worst Mojito, I have ever had in my life). After the Woodward, I picked up Suite Suzy & I some sushi from Oslo then hit the freeway.
I make it home safe & sound, have some spicy tuna rolls, talk some shit with Suite Suzy, have a shower, wash my hair, & hit the sack. It’s 130
So since I volunteered for WDET, I actually got a weekend pass to the festival & decided not to go on Sunday because I had to get some rest, so basically, I begged Suite Suzy to let me go on Monday so that I could see Little Louie Vega spin (a definite highlight of the festival). She was like sure, me & the kids are going to the water park, I am not cooking dinner, have a good time LOL.
I make it back down to Hart Plaza & maneuver through the thick crown to get to the Pyramid stage so that I get a good spot to hear & see Louie & winded up getting spot, which is where I would be for the next 2½ hours.
For the duration of his set, Louie was spinning noting but pure fire & energy as he played many of my favorites songs coupled with some shit I have never heard before. Although it was hot as hell, it did not stop me & the hundreds of others from dancing & enjoying our selves under the unforgiving sun. I am not sure if Louie performed in Detroit, but he was spinning records as if he has been a Detroit staple. By this I mean, he played house jams from the 80’s & 90’s that were big hits here & I think, actually I know, when he played several of my favorite songs from back in the day I went crazy & danced just a little bit harder.
After the Little Louie Vega, I made my way back to the Beatport stage and hung out for a while & bumped back into Alan Abrahams & kicked it with him & his friends that came to see him from Mexico City. Man the reach of this festival is phenomena! Shortly before leaving to go home I ran into Carl Craig (another House Music great) and kicked with him briefly & took a quick photo then, I left to go home. My mission(s) had been accomplished, plus I had to go to work the next day.
My bottom line impression of the festival is that it is a must attend event for any true Techno/House music fan anywhere in the world. If you are into people watching, then this festival is the place to be! I’m happy that WDET called because otherwise, this would have been another year where I missed out again.
To get a good history of the Movement click here.
See my photo slideshow to get the visuals.