Remember how Fyre Festival took on a life of its own in 2017 thanks to the help of social media influencers and the vague, yet desirable promise to have a party of the ages on a secluded island? If not, both Netflix and Hulu have got this topic covered in their respective documentaries. Or, something even more immersive awaits in Detroit: an actual LARP (Live Action Role Play), where guests can recreate the disaster in-person.
The event will be held at what organizer Michelle Birawer and her friends call, “the party island of Hamtramck,” which is actually a landlocked area of the city—much like Fyre attendees believed they were going to party on Pablo Escobar’s old island, but really ended up in a resort parking lot in Exhuma. It was originally planned to be held in the Belle Isle on the Detroit river, but city officials quickly banned it after curious fans began calling in to inquire about the event.
Fyre’s Detroit LARP has a funny backstory; it began as a joke event on Facebook, and like the festival itself, ended up becoming its own viral creature. Birawer promises to provide a historically accurate experience for participants, down to the sad cheese sandwiches from the original fest, shabby tents, and even gifting a few lucky guests with “influencer cards.”
Big Beat Records has been a home to releases across many different sounds in dance music’s history. While its latest releases range from funky electronica á la Chromeo, bass from WHIPPED CREAM, or pop from Galantis, the label’s cross-genre style is inspired by its roots in house music. In their latest edition of the Big Beat: Ignition compilation series, they’ve chosen to honor that history by paying homage to the place that gave birth to the sound that started it all: Detroit.
On Big Beat Ignition: Detroit, the label has compiled an impressive track listing from house artists from across the globe, including Vanilla Ace, breakout star Rebuke, UK tastemaker Siege, and veteran Mike Vale. Hitting a range of styles and sounds, the compilation highlights house’s grounding in disco, hip-hop, and the warehouse parties in which its growth was nurtured.
House and techno titans will unite again atop Detroit’s riverfront Hart Plaza for another Memorial Day weekend segment of Movement Festival. So far, organizers have pulled back the curtain on only a small, yet lustrous, corner of their secured repertoire, including hot-button house authority, Chris Lake, the aptly named, old-school-meets-new-school Hot Since 82, Belgium’s fiercely flourishing techno temptress, Amelie Lens, and local-turned-global rap icon, Danny Brown, who satiates the fest’s longtime affinity for bolstering Detroit-native talent.
The festival, this year pegged for May 25-27 has long acted as a summertime commencement in Detroit–the techno promised land–as well as a harbinger of the annual electronic festival season at large. The 2019 installment will also include a live set from Orbital, who have been a pair of instrumental components in electronic music’s acclimation in both the UK and US fronts since the late ’80s. The upcoming edition will be the duo’s Movement debut, as well as their first live performance in Detroit in nearly two decades.
If last year’s expectation-eclipsing lineup, which included Claude VonStroke, Lee Burridge, Maceo Plex, REZZ, Dubfire, and a face-melting slew of multifarious talent, spanning house, techno, hip-hop, and experimental subsets across the electronic emblem, the ten thus-far-released acts are only a Costco-size sample of what’s to come.
Movement 2019 acts thus far include (in alphabetical order):
AMELIE LENS CHRIS LAKE DANNY BROWN DJ BONE DJ NOBU FLOORPLAN – LIVE HEIKO LAUX HOT SINCE 82 ORBITAL- LIVE STEPHAN BODZIN – LIVE
It’s the holiday season and after releasing two new singles, GRiZ has announced he’s dedicating time to those less fortunate in the city that made him, Detroit. In the fifth annual edition of 12 Days of GRiZMAS, the Good Will Prevail producer is organizing community events and concerts with 100% of the proceeds going towards increasing access to music education in Detroit’s public schools. This year’s edition includes caroling, community service, an evening at Barcade, yoga, bowling, a mic night, and of course epic boogie downs. After the twelve days of sharing, caring, and community bonding; the electro-funk master general presents two back-to-back shows at Detroit’s Masonic Temple, and his infamous 15-piece live band will be joining him on the first show.
GRiZMAS will start Tuesday, December 4 and end Saturday, December 15. From 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. each day, GRiZMAS workshops will be in session where participants can engage in various forms of holiday giving. If you’re not able to attend, you can still help the cause by donating HERE.
Click HERE for tickets to the 12 Days of GRiZMAS events.
“Detroit’s sonic story is not over,” and the Detroit Sound Conservancy (DSC) will see to the longevity of that “sonic story” via the restoration of one of Detroit’s most iconic techno sound systems, that of the now closed Club Heaven.
A non-profit group that supports Detroit’s “sonic heritage through outreach, preservation, education, storytelling, curation, and innovation,” the DSC looks to not only recover, but preserve Club Heaven’s sound system via a newly launched Kickstarter campaign that will fund the system’s renovation.
Seminal artists in Detroit’s techno movement, Derrick May and Kevin Saunderson gifted the sound system to the DSC in 2017. The system previously occupied a Detroit basement for approximately 20 years before May and Saunderson transferred ownership of the sound system to the DSC. Now, the group aims to rebuild the system via “electronic archaeology,” which entails replacement of the system’s cables, drivers, amplifiers, horns, and speaker cabinets.
“Since our founding in 2012, Detroit Sound Conservancy has preserved and celebrated Detroit music history from below,” the DSC said. “This means we spend our time telling stories that have rarely been heard outside of our own neighborhoods and local communities and have yet to be included in standard depictions of Detroit’s musical history. This includes stories of Detroit’s queer dance ecosystem from the late 1960s to the present day in which Club Heaven is a key moment.”
A prominent nightclub that doubled as a “safe space” for the queer population in its hey day, Club Heaven served as a sonic sanctuary for black LGBTQ youth, while simultaneously offering an outlet to DJs, club promoters, dancers, and other frequenters of the Detroit club circuit.
Jam-packed with VIP edits and deep cuts, VonStroke went all out, bringing the fans in his hometown some of the weekend’s most dynamic house and techno. From originals like “Grenade,” his industrial collaboration with EPROM and his previously unreleased, “Maharaja” to Wyatt Marshall’s techno remix of the classic “Who’s Afraid of Detroit,” Claude VonStroke has put together 85 minutes of the grooviest dance-floor tunes. With the album consisting of the DJs continuous mix along with 13 individual, unmixed tracks, the Dirtybird boss has blessed us all with this massive offering of house and techno bliss.
Producer Sessions is a series from Dancing Astronaut meant to shine a brighter light on the producer community. Each volume will guide producers towards some of the freshest sample packs, plugins, FX, and presets out there. Today’s session: Movement Sample Pack.
This week, Splice celebrated Detroit’s rich history in techno music with a series of sample packs, contests, interviews, and editorials. The series is called The Sound: Detroit, starting off in the 1980’s and leading into the creative process of today’s most innovative artists. Following Motown’s Movement Electronic Music Festival, Splice facilitated the curation of their new Movement Sample Pack. Click HERE to check out sounds of Detroit perfect for house heads.
Spearheaded by Shigeto and Waajeed, the sample pack came together in Detroit during this past edition of Movement, with so many artists returning to the city, making the event an opportune time to gather talent and sounds. To truly capture the sounds of Detroit, Shigeto and Wajeed drove across Motor City, making stops along the way to capture hours of field recordings from scapes along the I-75 bridge to kicks at the Eastern Market and mechanical foley of the Archer Record Pressing plant.
These field recordings led to dissected, deconstructed, and transformed samples from artists who were in town for Movement festival, transforming each sound into loops and one-shots with their own unique approaches.
Artists that contributed to the pack were Andrés, Antenes, Mija, Black Noi$e, Blake Baxter, Chuck Daniels, Chris Koltay, Delano Smith, Mark Flash, Shady P, Ectomorph, Gene Farris, Jon Dixon, Ariel, Marco Shuttle, Kweku Saunderson, Marshall Applewhite, MGUN, Milan, The Saunderson Brothers, and Venture to the D. This collection contains over 400 percussive one shots, synth loops, ambient textures, and vocal FX. Click HERE to start a 14-day free trial and start producing like the pros.
A serious producer should have an extensive audio library, filled with a variety of organized samples and more companies like Splice are filling that need every year. These days, a subscription to Splice is a no-brainer for producers at any level. For $7.99 a month, Splice gives producers access to their entire library of high-quality samples, loops, FX, and presets, coming in at over 2 million sounds. At that price, producers get 100 credits per month to explore Splice’s massive library, save sounds they like, and download-to-own at a rate of 1 sample per credit.
Producers at the highest levels use Splice to find inspiration because it’s so easy with their massive library and quality partnerships. Some of the most popular sound designers have contributed to Splices’ library, including exclusive packs from KSHMR, Sonny Digital, deadmau5, Amon Tobin, Zaytoven, KRANE, Lex Lugar and more.
Detroit-based producer Tadd Mullinix is a man of many names and many skills. From his hip-hop tinged instrumentals under his Dabrye moniker to his acid and techno releases as JTC, Mullinix has never strayed from creating from an array of genres and perspectives. Fittingly, the eclectic producer has just released a new jungle-inspired single, titled “Compound Extraprotus” under his new X-Altera alias.
Coming just a week before the self-titled X-Altera LP drops on Ghostly International, “Compound Extraprotus” is a dark and textured approach to jungle that showcases Mullinix’s grasp of a wide-range of production styles. A close listen exposes an homage to electronic cultures of the past, with Mullinix finding inspiration in “the deep, melodic techno of Detroit and London.” With two X-Altera singles already out, an album to come on June 15th, and the release of a Dabrye LP earlier this year, Mullinix continues to position himself as one of Detroit’s top purveyor of underground sounds.
From DJing with Slum Village back in the day, to playing congas, to rocking the MPC and making some of the most soulful house around, Dez Andrés is one of the finest that Detroit has to offer. Andrés had a jam-packed Movement weekend filled with afterparty appearances, contributions to Shigeto‘s set, and even his own set at the Stargate stage with a live band featuring a who’s who of musicians such as the likes of Ian Fink (Scott Grooves’ keyboard player). His timeless classic “New For U” sounded so fresh with live instrumentation as it wafted over Hart Plaza.
2) Psychedelic Research Lab – Keep On Climbing
Eris Drew was one of the most anticipated performances of the weekend and she definitely delivered on the hype. Playing a moody, tension-filled set at RA’s Underground Stage before Helena Hauff, the smartbar affiliate ripped through her wax-filled set with poise and passion. Building deep grooves and maintaining the crowd’s attention, this classic rave track from Scott Richmond and John Selway, together as Pyschedelic Research Lab, was a highlight, sounding fresh as ever. Perfect timing to drop the track too, as Kim Ann Foxman’s Firehouse label is re-releasing it with a set of remixes from Deetron and herself.
3) Floorplan – Let The Church
Whenever Carl Craig takes the stage at Movement, it’s must-see entertainment. The Planet E don commands a crowd so well, especially in Detroit, and started off his set on the mic preaching Detroit Love. As his set progressed into thicker and more energetic cuts, this one from fellow Detroit-er Robert Hood and his daughter under their Floorplan moniker made a huge impact on the crowd. Hammerings drums gave way to a tweaked-up gospel vocal for pure techno madness and a big reaction.
4) Paul Nazca – Memory
Laurent Garnier hardly ever makes an appearance stateside, which made the legend’s Sunday closing slot at Movement extra special. As his two-hour set reached its peak, he dropped a monstrous record which he and Sven Väth have supported heavily throughout the past couple years: “Memory,” by Paul Nazca. The song’s classic edge and cunning central hook whipped the audience into a frenzy with each post-break, and felt like the perfect selection for the moment.
5) Jeff Mills – The Bells
One simply cannot do Movement, or celebrate Detroit techno in general, without the ever-iconic Jeff Mills single, “The Bells.” Its synth stabs and clanging melody that embedded itself deep into electronica’s psyche so many years ago could be heard throughout several sets during the festival — from the Underground to the Stargate stage — and each play sparked joyous looks of recognition and subsequent madness. It’s pure, raw techno that defines the genre itself, which is why the single remains fresh and widely rinsed today. To top off the festivities, techno founding father Juan Atkins also paid homage to his colleague by kicking his set into high gear with the classic.
6) Prince – Head (Hazmat Live cover)
Taking place at Detroit’s fabled TV Lounge, Soul Clap‘s annual House of Efunk party is really a can’t miss — the lineup is always packed with a diverse set of heavy hitters, the vibe is so fun and jovial, and the curation of set times between the outside patio, side alley, and indoor club is just perfect. When the magic hour came and the sun started to rise, Detroit’s own Hazmat Live took the reins with a seriously impressive live house set, filled with drum machines, samplers, analog keyboards and vocoder talk box vocals. The diversity in his live set was fantastic, as he peppered in his own take on classics such as The O’Jays “I Love Music” and Prince’s “I Wanna Be Your Lover”. Keeping the purple theme going, his dubbed out version of “Head” was blissful at whatever morning hour it was (we forget, ha).
7) Aretha Franklin – Never Grow Old
The newly re-positioned Pyramid Stage was a highlight for many during Movement weekend, and with due reason. Looking out on the Detroit River and Windsor, Ontario, the Pyramid Stage was not only arguably the most scenic of the stages, but also packed a serious punch with it’s lineup. Radio Slave was a name we were super excited for, and he delivered a diverse heavy-hitting and funky set that got the final day festers pumping and moving. Dropping unexpected bombs such as Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s Relax, Radio Slave also paid a cheeky homage to Detroit’s Robert Hood, breaking down his set to go into the velvet-y vocals of Aretha Franklin’s “Never Grow Old” which Hood famously sampled on his techno version of the track with the same name. The angelic vocals were uplifting right when the crowd needed them, and then was followed up with Hood’s banger “Baby, Baby”, a perfect tip of the cap to one of Detroit’s legends.
8) Wu-Tang Clan – C.R.E.A.M
Wu-Tang Clan were one of the most sought-after, and unifying forces of Movement; no matter one’s musical preference, attendees flooded the main stage en masse for this legendary reunion. They celebrated their 25th birthday as a group at the festival as well, to add to the fervor. Naturally, they couldn’t go without performing some of their most well-known classics to their packed and adoring crowd. “C.R.E.A.M” was one such single that they pulled out of their archives, which proceeded to be met with supreme hype from viewers.
9) Regal – L’Éternité (Charlotte de Witte Remix)
Many are in agreement that Charlotte de Witte destroyed the Underground stage during her sub-closing set on Monday. In addition to earth-shaking techno she unearthed for the affair, the rising Belgian talent also threw in a few of her favored productions as well. One of these was her sultry remix to Regal’s “L’Éternité,” which was strategically placed within her mix to up the momentum. The original’s French vocals captivated the sweaty onlookers, while thunderous kicks anchored feet to the ground.
10) Maceo Plex & Maars – Mutant DX
Maceo Plex and his wife Christine Maars of the Odd Parents are electronic royalty, and thus a collaboration between the two is bound to be brilliant. Their recently-premiered “Mutant DX” shows off all their chemistry as producers and as lifetime collaborators, and serves as a nice, grooving tune that’s raunchy enough to rock a festival dancefloor as hard as a club. When Maceo played it during his set closing the Pyramid stage on Day 1, madness ensued as gazes remained transfixed on the hollow synth pangs flowing out of the speakers.
On the afternoon before his debut headlining performance at Detroit’s annual Movement Festival, Claude VonStroke took to Twitter to excitedly deem the opportunity a “dream come true,” as well as a “major bucket list set.”
The combination of VonStroke having made almost a dozen appearances at Movement before eclipsing a headliner seat, as well as growing up in Detroit himself, “where it all started,” he says, opened the door for an unprecedented offering: a live mix album–a first for both VonStroke and his distinguished brainchild, Dirtybird Records.
The live-set-turned-album, Claude VonStroke Live From Detroit, endured four months of meticulous curation before VonStroke hit the Movement stage with nearly 150 pre-cleared tracks loaded in his DJ cannon.
“My set is very much an old-school style DJ set, all music no-one’s heard before, special versions, secret edits, all the stuff I’ve been saving just for this performance,” VonStroke says.
VonStroke accrued multiple VIP edits from within the tightly woven Dirtybird family, an unreleased VonStroke track, “Maharaja,” as well as a brand new remix of his iconic and highly applicable track, “Who’s Afraid Of Detroit?” from Wyatt Marshall.
Formerly known as Elevator Musik, Marshall turns the timeless, tech-house track into a more overt techno display, leaving the echoing, water drop-like synth melody intact over his robust, driving bassline.
The album is to be released June 15 exclusively through Apple Music.