[REVIEW] Movement 2017: A Memoir

Photo: 6am-group.com

We were fortunate enough to have good friend, stellar DJ, and Movement veteran Collin McKenna cover Movement 2017 in Detroit this year for us. We hope you enjoy his entertaining account of the weekend.

Detroit. Not at the top of most peoples’ lists when it comes to vacation destinations. A city that at times seemed hopeless, urban decay scarring it’s every corner, a fascinating, but saddening glimpse of a city that once was. This was my 4th year attending the festival and I’ve noticed subtle changes each year, but this year it was different. The streets were clean and infrastructure projects were in full swing throughout. The scars were certainly still visible, but it was heartwarming to witness the progress being made and made me fall in love with the city even more. The festival itself starts Saturday, but Friday’s not without shenanigans if you’re up for it. We found ourselves at Marble Bar for The Physical Therapy party. Their beautifully redone patio played host to the likes of local heroes Matthew Dear and Mike Servito to name a few. It drew us in and we found ourselves there way too late as Friday is a good night to sleep IF you know what’s good for you.

Saturday (Day 1)

Got off to a rough start, but we rallied and our hangovers subsided once we stepped through the gates to the sound of Octave 1 at the Thump Stage. The legendary (Detroit born and bred) duo provided a PROPER welcome indeed. Next, down to the main stage for a brief taste of Nicole Moudaber. Making her main stage debut, the techno goddess certainly stepped up to the plate with a masterfully programmed techno assault. Then off to the beautiful pyramid stage for Ben Klock, we found ourselves right in the front. King Klock played a surprisingly warm more chord heavy set, perfect for the sunset. We then ventured back to the Thump stage for Carl Craig. Dawning a black hat and joined by 2 members of his versus ensemble, Craig blew minds, infusing classical numbers with techno back drops. The crowd ate it up and he stayed stoic and stern throughout, like the BOSS he is. Okay might as well head back to the pyramid stage for the tail end of Robert Hood! Another Detroit legend, he dished out a barrage of classic techno that only seasoned ears could appreciate. Afterparty wise we ended up at the seedy Grenadier club. The Discwoman crew from NYC brought in Shani Celeste and Mike Servito to name a few. It was HOT and SWEATY with poor ventilation and no AC. Certainly not for the faint of heart. If you don’t make it to at least 1 party like this, then you’re doing it wrong.

Sunday (Day 2)

Photo: Billboard

We started at Exodus rooftop where the NYC based ReSolute crew put together a mighty fine day party (per usual). Daniel Bell provided the headlining honors lacing the crowd with a masterfully curated hodge podge of minimal cuts and Chicago style groovers. Shortly after he wrapped us his set, a storm rolled in which slightly delayed our entrance back into the fest. When we finally made it in, we hit the pyramid stage for Kompakt’s own Michael Mayer. Sadly, the crowd was small as I’m quite sure a number of the younger patrons weren’t aware of how legendary this man is. He stayed true to his brand none the less and dished up a concoction of dark techno with subtle pop undertones. Cajmere was playing at the Thump Stage so we jetted over there to catch the last part of his set. Seeing that his Green Velvet alias has really taken off, it’s rare and necessary treat to catch him as Cajmere when you can. Soulful House goodness and he wasn’t afraid to weave in the occasional Velvet cut for good measure. Next on that stage was Seth Troxler complete with synced mind-blowing LED visuals. At various points, he appeared sitting Indian Style floating through space winking and making faces. AMAZING. The set itself covered a lot of ground, and included some of the best tracks I heard at the festival. He really showed why he’s one of the scene’s most sought after tastemakers. We attempted to go back to the pyramid stage for Dixon, but more rain rolled in and they had to shut it down until it blew over. We departed to the safety of our friend’s hotel room and made plans for the evening. After drying off and regrouping, it was decided that we’d head over to the beautiful Masonic Temple for the Drumcode Party. Sadly, we missed Nicole Moudaber, but arrived just in time to listen to Drumcode honcho Adam Beyer do what he does best. After putting our faces back together, as they were obviously melted, we departed back to our HQ. Okay Cool at TV Lounge was next on the agenda and we finally made it over around sunrise to witness San Francisco legend DJ Solar play a proper sunrise set. Fellow San Franciscans Claude Vonstroke and Justin Martin were both in attendance to show their support. K bed time.

Day 3 (Monday)

Happy Cranksgiving! Yes. My good friend coined the final day Cranksgiving as this is the final and generally most debaucherous of all 3 days. The usual Monday routine is to go to Seth Troxler’s Need I Say More Party at The Old Miami. While it is always a great way to spend your Sunday, the level of popularity it’s achieved can make it difficult to get in after 10am, unless you want to wait in line for 3 plus hours. That said, the kind folks over at Marble Bar have put together their own day party for the second year in a row to give people another option. This year they enlisted the help of the Electric Pickle crew out Miami for Where’s My Keys Detroit edition. The DJ booth sat behind the hood of car. The rest of the car was then expertly placed right beside for photos and lounging. The lineup included Red Axes, Rich Medina, Honey Soundsystem and Beat’s In Space host & curator Tim Sweeney among countless others. While we didn’t get a chance to see everyone, we did catch Rich Medina whom laid down a very welcome batch of Soul, Disco and Classic Rock edits, perfect for a Sunday afternoon. Off to the festival? Not before stopping by The Old Miami first! We showed up to the sounds of the Godfather Kevin Saunderson closing out the last hour. Mother Nature stepped in to provide an extra nudge in the form of a refreshing downpour for his last song. Even Seth Troxler came out and opened his hands to the sky to bath in the glory. It washed us all clean before breaking right when the music stopped. HAPPY CRANKSGIVING. Okay back to Marble Bar for a little bit of Honey Soundsystem. Those fellas really know how to lay down a groove, so good. And then off to the festival finally. We ended up at the Paradise Stage (formerly Thump) again for the last half of Kerry Chandler which led right into Jamie Jones. He had curated the stage for the day. He also curated a captivating 2 hour set that provided a great finale to the weekend. Back to Marble Bar for Delano Smith? Don’t know how we pulled it off, but we did. And then…..we pretty much died.

Photo: EDMChicago.com

Four years strong and this was my favorite yet. Movement steals my heart every year. While it’s easy to have lofty ambitions for what you’d like to accomplish, I prefer to go with the flow and enjoy the journey, which is especially easy when you’re with your best friends. I could go on and on, but nothing does it justice until you experience it firsthand. Until next year. #feelit

written by Collin McKenna


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