Movement: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival 2011 – Part I

Movement: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival 2011 – Part I

The world’s best electronic dance music festival returned with a vengeance to Detroit’s Hart Plaza over the 2011 Memorial Weekend. In the riverside heart of the Motor City, internationally acclaimed acts Sven Vath, Fat Boy Slim and Adam Beyer absolutely destroyed their respective stages. Festival organizers, Paxahau Productions of Detroit, presented an all-out feast for the senses over all three days, demonstrating in triumphant fashion that the city’s well established techno sub-culture still rings as fresh today as it did in 2000, Movement’s rookie year.

I Love Detroit Michigan got off to an early start at The Fillmore Detroit, the night before the festival’s opening, with an official, Paxahau sponsored pre-party featuring American mash-up master, DJ Z-Trip, and English dub-step superstar, Rusko. We were only slightly disappointed when recognized grandmaster Z-Trip took the stage FIRST and delivered a set seemingly tailored to appeal to Rusko’s mostly 17-to-20-year-old dub-step fan base.

(Don’t get us wrong, we had a blast, but we feel obligated to mention that, one, the last time we saw Z-Trip in Detroit he was mixing with Plastikman tracks, and two, we’re pretty sure that Rusko’s fan base won’t be around long enough to justify letting him close the show).

A mere two hours within the festival grounds on opening day, May 28th, and we were already confidently declaring Movement’s continued ownership of the ‘Best People Watching in the World, Hands Down’ title.

First-day standouts included longtime Detroit mainstay Brian Gillespie on the Red Bull Music Academy stage as part of the “Electrbounce Presents” line-up. Rains early in the evening forced our departure, but I Love Detroit Michigan heard through the grapevine that Windsor’s most famous son, the near-mythic Richard Michael Hawtin, stopped just short of literally burning the Beatport stage to the forking ground.

In our opinion, Movement’s rich after-party scene has long been the highlight of Memorial Weekend in Detroit, but in the recent years Paxahau has been managing the festival main stage sound quality has improved to the point of rivaling nearly anything one could hope to hear during the festival’s after-hours. Nevertheless, I Love Detroit Michigan took to the streets to seek out the very best rave-til-dawn action available. We found it in “I Love You But I’ve Chosen Techno”, presented at The Works on Michigan Avenue, by Serato, Liaison Artists, and Detroit’s own, Detek. Main room highlights, for all you early risers out there, took place between 2am and 5:30am in the form of verily righteous DJ sets by Mothership recording artist, Tanner Ross, and Freude-Am-Tanzen recording artist, Robag Wruhme. Party organizers were stunned and humbled when Detroit First Wave techno royalty Juan Atkins and Eddie “Flashin’” Fowlkes arrived at their door around 2:30 in morning, looking to take in the freakshow right alongside the general public. ~I♥DM

Dale Carlson

Dale Carlson grew up along the northeastern shores of Lake Michigan, where at a young age Detroit called out to him in his dreams. In 2008, after extended stays in ten different Michigan cities, the author settled permanently in southeast Oakland County where he currently lives and works in various capacities within the local real estate industry.