It’s known by many names—The City by the Bay, The Paris of the West, Fog City, and even The City That Knows How. Whatever name it’s given, the city of San Francisco (and the surrounding Bay Area) has long been a site for inspiration; from its early Gold Rush days to the hippie counterculture, the
“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.
Pantheon has recently put out Timewarp featuring Nyxen, a well-crafted adventure through techno. The Australian based producer is also the head of Unknown Records, where he curates a premiere catalog that explores electronic music from the melodic tones in his recent studio output, to the heavier, more driving hints across the techno realm. Pantheon is
Following a string of successful events, CRSSD Fest has established itself to be the premier house and techno biannual event in San Diego. Set alongside San Diego Bay in the city’s downtown, the picturesque venue has also solidified it as a destination festival drawing thousands of fans to America’s Finest City. The fall event will
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.
Armin van Buuren and Shapov have finally released their official music video for “The Last Dancer”. While there are two versions of this song, the van Buuren and Shapov collab was a much-anticipated one. Shapov’s remixed version for “The Last Dancer” was released back in March, making this video release a little later than we’re used
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.
Political tensions on the world stage are nothing new. Many countries including America have faced the issue of political divides. While much of the news coverage around these tensions have focused on the extremes of the political spectrums, there are still many people working together to focus on what unites us rather than divides. In
The power of techno may have been used for its greatest good yet, as recent rallies in Berlin found far-right protestors thwarted by club beats as they marched through the capital. The self-proclaimed anti-immigrant, anti-Islam political party Alternative for Germany won its first seats in parliament last year, and the recent march marks the first public show of strength by the far-right group since it became the largest opposition to Chancellor Angela Merkel. Luckily AfD was met by the resistance of thousands of counter-protestors including a union of different advocacy groups, civil and student organizations, as well as political parties, lead by an alliance of over 100 clubs from across Berlin.
Packing the River Spree with boats and floats as well as a caravan of DJ-equipped trucks in the streets, Berlin’s legendary club circuit came together to “bass away” the far-right, drowning out “we are the people” calls with proper warehouse fare and “the whole of Berlin is against the AfD” chants. Counter-demonstrators waved rainbow flags, touting signs with messages like, “no to racism” and “No dance floors of Nazis.” A joint statement from the coalition of clubs reads,
“The Berlin club culture is everything that Nazis are not. We are progressive, queer, feminist, anti-racist, inclusive, colorful and we have unicorns.”
Thousands of counter-protestors reportedly joined in the action and police were deployed to keep the demonstrations peaceful. Berlin reportedly deployed 2,000 officers and eventually closed bridges across the city to section off protests throughout the weekend. Don’t make us deploy the unicorns, Nazis. We won’t hesitate to use them.
Claude VonStroke, Yousef, and Wes Wieland step up to remix Booka Shade for the first in two remix packages of the duo’s recently released, critically acclaimed ‘Cut The Strings’ LP. Hot off the back of the ‘Cut The Strings’ LP from Booka Shade which dropped on their Blaufield imprint in April, the duo has reached