Despite a visibly shifting techno scene stateside, 2018 marks one of the most banner years for Detroit, and America’s finest house & techno institution — Movement. With a booking that arguably serves as a controversial departure from the city’s roots, Movement’s 2018 programming captures the experimental essence of the times, a time where producers are gifted more creative freedom than ever to explore new sounds and the space between genres. As some techno becomes more and more of an amorphous body of music, free from rigid delineations, and a spectrum of experimentation emerges, there will always be those that prefer the pioneers lead the way.
No matter whether one’s an old techno head, a Drumcode-stan, or feeling the direction that Dirtybird is taking tech house, there’s one thing we can all agree upon — Movement will deliver. Ahead of the festival, Dancing Astronaut has taken to compiling the 10 sets not to miss. From the more obvious, Detroit-heavy mainstays who continually rep the city, to the purveyors of present and past innovation, 2018 promises to be an unmissable installment. Movement is techno history in the making. Don’t miss out.
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Movement 2018 marks a proper Shigeto homecoming. Beyond the Ghostly International artist’s booking, which will allow him to showcase his triumphant new album, The New Monday, Zachary Saginaw represents the exemplary booking of Movement’s solid undercard. An equally exemplary representation of what it means to be a musician in the modern age, Saginaw’s music is a union of classical training, energetic ambient programming, hip-hop, jazz, raw passion, and everything in between. His latest work was inspired by a return to the city of Detroit and is delivered with an unequivocal passion that meets Motown’s diverse musical history, which not to mention, promises a spectacular live show, complete with an impassioned fervor on the drum kit. Shigeto recently launched his own label, Portage Garage Sounds, which doubles as a creative outlet for the city’s local musicians and as a weekly showcase purveyor at the city’s Motor City Wine. He’s steeped in the breadth of what it means to be a working artist in the birthplace of techno and will undoubtedly do the city justice, playing everything from Motown to Danny Brown come his Hart Plaza descent.
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It’s more than likely Mija’s “Fk A Genre” mentality will take a backseat to her longstanding love for Detroit techno, if nowhere else but for her 2018 Movement set. Coming off her highly stylized HOW TO MEASURE THE DISTANCE BETWEEN LOVERS EP, Mija can usually be found wielding buoying bass music these days. However, cleaning up the festival this year just behind Rezz, from 8-10 on Monday, she’ll be showing the Stargate Stage just how deep her omnipresent tech house tastes run.
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Celebrating the 10th anniversary of both his illustrious solo career and the inception of his SCI+TEC label, internationally revered DJ, Dubfire is showing no signs of ware. The Iranian “Exit” producer will return to Movement for a two-hour 10-midnight headlining set. Fans would be hard-pressed to miss it, as the four-time nominee and Grammy-Winner is known to seamlessly summon sets straight out of the techno underworld.
7) Carl Craig
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Carl Craig can be described as an electronic music icon, a world-class dancefloor experimentalist, and an ambassador for his native Detroit, but no such term would suffice for the work and art the man has bestowed upon the city of Detroit — and really, the entire world of techno — over the last few decades. Having served as the co-creator and artistic director for the Detroit Electronic Music Festival in 2000 and 2001, Craig’s served on the frontlines of the techno revolution in Detroit since its dawn. With a plethora of releases under a multitude of aliases, Carl Craig has had more musical personalities than most electronic artists in their lifetime. Whether he’s serving up his deep commitment to soul, jazz, or techno come Memorial Day weekend, Hart Plaza is in for a treat. Craig will be reminding attendees that Detroit is the birthplace of techno, after all.
6) Ida Engberg
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One half of the techno’s Swedish power couple, Ida Engberg has been spinning her intoxicating web of minimal house and techno on the high-profile, low-nonsense techno label, Drumcode, spearheaded by her highly decorated husband, Adam Beyer for quite some time now. Born in the suburbs of Stockholm and coming up through the Swedish underground club scene, she has more than paid her dues. Don’t miss Engberg show the boys at Pyramid Stage how it’s done Saturday.
5) Helena Hauff
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Revered for her outpouring love for 80s synths, industrial, and cold wave classics, Helena Hauff is leading the avant-garde hardware movement in both electro and techno. As a supreme selector and enthusiast for a vast array of musical subcultures; her sets boast everything from punk to nu-wave, industrial, krautrock, and avant-garde electro. Hauff’s pushing the boundaries of what it means to exist as an artist. She’s rooted in raw experimentation, and her Movement set promises a polar opposition to the perfect, polished mainstream.
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Dirtybird Australian newcomer, Fisher’s iconic “Ya Kiddin’” track took on a life of its own last summer, rapidly becoming one of the most Shazamed anthems of the 2017 festival season. Since then, he has stunned with his Oi Oi EP, containing hits like “Stop It,” which has had everyone from Dirtybird Campout to Coachella “movin’ up and down side to side like a rollercoaster.” Follow the Fish Saturday to the Movement stage to get a piece of the funky frenzy everyone in house music has been raving about.
3) Nina Kraviz
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Perhaps the best way to sum up the work of the Russian dentist turned DJ, Nina Kraviz, is by taking a look at her quote “Music is a continuum connecting generations,” in her crowning piece as Mixmag‘s 2017 DJ of the year. The cosmonaut dentist weaves through eras with ease, and with little to no novacane, too. Her Movement set will be one of her few performances stateside in the next year, and with her burgeoning, mutant techno, power-house bombs, and a few trance numbers, attendees won’t want to miss one of the most talked about stateside techno sets of the coming year.
2) Claude VonStroke
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Dirtybird label head and founder, Claude VonStroke, will show fans who isn’t afraid of Detroit Saturday at the official Movement Stage. The Dirtybird crew is an unrelenting force at movement each year—this year notwithstanding—though VonStroke is sure to wield a massive set, as his proclivity for Detroit techno is hallmarked by his explosive, omnipresent appearances at Movement. His 2016 set at the fest for example, shook Detroit to its core when he teamed up with none other than Green Velvet at the Red Bull stage for one of their classic, unforgettable 90 minute b2b sets.
1) Charlotte de Witte
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Charlotte de Witte is the name on the tips of the techno world’s proverbial tongue. With a style that remains as tied to the underground techno scene as it is trance, and Belgium — where de Witte’s from — she’s proving to be an all-around revelation for the state of techno. With a DJ set that’s guaranteed to keep the audience moving and a thunderously aggressive, stripped-down approach to her own music, de Witte is a multifaceted artist of the finest degree, and her Movement set will undoubtedly deliver on the thunderous nature of techno that so many desire.
Featured Image Photo Credit: Stephen Bondio