America’s Best DJ: Detroit Wrap-Up, Then It’s onto R.I.
Providence, R.I. – Post-Motown, it’s on the road to Rhody!
After spending a beat-filled Memorial Day weekend at Detroit’s Movement fest, America’s Best DJ Summer Tour Presented by Pioneer DJ & DJ Times makes a quick trip up to New England for another round of DJ-driven fun.
On Saturday, May 31, we’ll be at Club Therapy in Providence, R.I., for some late-night action with East Coast favorite DJ Boris. Come out to the club and visit our ABDJ booth to vote for your favorite DJ—and take a chance to win a trip to Las Vegas, plus prizes from Pioneer DJ and G-Shock.
Vote & Win: Fans at the ABDJ booth.
Back in the Motor City, more than 100,000 fans made it to Hart Plaza May 24-26 to enjoy three days of beautiful weather and banging beats from 17 America’s Best DJ nominees, not to mention international talent like Carl Cox, Richie Hawtin and Dixon. (ABDJ nominees at Movement included Baauer, Carl Craig, Claude Von Stroke, DJ Godfather, Flosstradamus, Green Velvet, Jeff Mills, Just Blaze, Justin Martin, Kevin Saunderson, Lee Foss, Maceo Plex, The Martinez Brothers, Marques Wyatt, Mike Huckaby, Miguel Migs and Stacey Pullen. The full list of 100 ABDJ nominees can be found here.)
Day 1 at Movement started off strong with Dirtybird repping its flock of talent on the Beatport stage: Justin Martin kept things groovy in the afternoon, while label boss Claude Von Stroke killed it as the night went on. On the Made in Detroit stage, Anthony “Shake” Shakir had us moving to Prince’s “Let’s Work,” while over at the Moog stage ghetto-tech scratchmasters DJ Godfather and DJ Zebo ripped it up, as MC Flipside kept the party rolling. After Green Velvet flashed and took us to La-La Land, Tale of Us and Damian Lazarus took over the Red Bull Music Academy Stage (aka main stage) for some trippy grooves. But they really brought it at their own shared afterparty at City Club later that night.
Over at TV Lounge, Soul Clap’s House of eFunk (presented by Red Bull Music Academy) certainly dropped the tough grooves and extreme party vibes with a set of funky disco classics, which was followed by the legendary George Clinton himself rocking P-Funk faves like “Tear the Roof Off the Sucker” before a decidedly wobbly crowd.
Vote for Me: DJ Godfather at ABDJ booth.
Day 2’s lineup aimed to please. Adriatique kept a steady vibe at Beatport, while Seth Troxler got things rocking at the main stage around 5:30. Back over at Beatport, Berlin-based techno practitioner Dixon got going in the early evening. But it must be said that the Dixon experience cannot be bottled. It takes time to marinade, a feat not easily accomplished with a festival-length timeslot. Regardless, Dixon’s mixing/selection expertise is always a tough act to follow, and the correct successor need be chosen wisely. Enter Maceo Plex.
What he did on that stage was of another world. Folks were regaling tales from the previous year’s set, which included a typhoon-level rainstorm. But there was not a drop in the sky for this mid-evening set and the energy he infused into the crowd, with his wicked and wild ways, was boundless. The set might’ve been a tad darker than his usual fare, but the crowd ate it up. Match that with his forceful Monday-night set at the St. Andrew’s afterparty and Maceo Plex certainly maintained his Detroit hitting streak. Epic.
How does one recover? By running over to the main stage for Richie Hawtin, of course. Hawtin didn’t waste a minute, starting in strong and riding the high energy wave with his brand of enthralling techno that offered up snippets of his classic “Spastik” throughout the set. Other Sunday highlights included DJ Psycho’s quick-mix frenzy at the Made in Detroit stage, Rai Knight’s ethereal beats and soothing vocals on the Moog Stage, The Martinez Brothers’ off-the-hook house vibe at Beatport, John Digweed’s growling, menacing mainstage set of prog-house, and Mike Huckaby’s all-vinyl set of classic techno, which included Joey Beltram’s all-time whopper, “Energy Flash,” at the Made in Detroit stage.
La-La Land: Green Velvet at Beatport Stage.
That evening’s afterparty—at TV Lounge, dubbed “OK, Cool”—featured a rousing B2B set with Seth Troxler and the Martinez Brothers. It was a night of sexy beats from fellows who really—and very visibly—get into their grooves. And the great weather really contributed to great vibes in the venue’s two outdoor environments.
Day 3 belonged to the U.K.’s techno godfather, Carl Cox. After Loco Dice warmed the decks with his infectious sound and fly-guy looks, Cox’s closing set was high-energy, dirty techno from start to finish. Throughout the set, industry heavies like MIDI pioneer Dave Smith and Detroit-based global DJ Carl Craig stopped by the stage to view the proceedings and give their greetings—not a bad posse.
Other Monday highlights included Marques Wyatt and Miguel Migs dropping deep and melodic house on the main stage, Kevin Saunderson’s ecstatic B2B with Seth Troxler (following his Origins presentation) on the Made In Detroit stage, and Jeff Mills’ three-hour, Underground-Stage set of relentless techno, which also closed out the festival with quite a wallop.
The afterparty at nearby St. Andrew’s Hall found Loco Dice and Stacey Pullen going B2B in The Shelter downstairs, while Maceo Plex buzzbombed the upstairs contingent. Later, DJ Sneak entertained the last men and women standing with his brand of raw house music. And then, it was off to the airport…