April 21, 2014

Movement: Detroit Dazzles, Kicks Off America’s Best DJ

If the DJs at Electric Daisy Carnival in New Jersey set a new festival record for playing Avicii’s already ubiquitous “Levels,” then the following week’s Movement festival in Detroit certainly topped any mark for playing the late Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love.” But, given the differing natures of the two events, it was easy to see which was done out of duty (the former) and which was done out of love (the latter).

Rock The Bells: Jeff Mills (aka The Wizard) at Movement. Photo By Brittany Somerset

Rock The Bells: Jeff Mills (aka The Wizard) at Movement. Photo By Brittany Somerset

Indeed, Movement—held this past Memorial Day weekend in Detroit’s Hart Plaza—brought a closely curated lineup of EDM talent. As usual, there was no trance, but plenty of quality techno and house—plus a few curveballs. According to organizers Paxahau, Movement drew over 107,000 fans for the weekend.

Movement also served as the launch event for America’s Best DJ Summer Tour Presented by Pioneer DJ & DJ Times. Ten of the 100 ABDJ nominees played the event—they included Carl Craig, Claude VonStroke, Derrick Carter, Dillon Francis, Diplo (with Major Lazer), DJ Godfather, Jeff Mills, Josh Wink, Mark Farina and Stacey Pullen. DJ Times was there all three days with a dedicated exhibition booth, handing out the latest issues and taking votes for the fans’ favorite jocks.

A few quick festival flashbacks of ABDJ nominees: Mark Farina dropping his Mushroom Jazz grooves on the main stage in the midst of a refreshing sunshower; Derrick Carter giving his nod to the past by infusing MJ’s “Remember the Time” with massive beats, then dropping Donna Summer’s “On the Radio,” which induced grins all over the main-stage area; and Carl Craig rocking a rumbling, but groovy techno set as the plaza filled up.

Also, Josh Wink spinning some clacking bangers before acknowledging the recently departed—The Beasties’ “Brass Monkey,” then a rousing “I Feel Love”; on the Made in Detroit stage, DJ Godfather getting nasty with his ghetto-tech booty-shakers and ripping scratch routines; and, closing out the festival with a vinyl set, Jeff Mills (aka The Wizard) climaxed the joint when he dropped his classic, “The Bells”—place went mad.

Other notables: longtime U.K. fave Mr. C tore up the Underground Stage with a proper acid-house set; solid sets of jumpin’, pumpin’ tunes at the Beatport Stage from Guy Gerber/Seth Troxler, the Martinez Brothers and Joris Voorn/Nic Fanciulli; Keys N Krates’ unique turntablist/drummer/keyboard-mined grooves and araabMUZIK’s MPC madness on the Redbull Music Academy Stage; and Public Enemy’s crunching, classics-heavy set on the main stage (with a cameo from Ice-T)—despite the incessant social-media banter from Flavor Flav.

What’s next for the tour? Two events this weekend—both on Saturday, June 2. First up, at San Francisco’s Ruby Skye, Chicago’s Bad Boy Bill will offer up an evening of deep deck skills and rollicking house grooves. Back in the Midwest, at Minneapolis’ First Avenue, Chicagoan-turned-local-hero SovietPanda will present his dance-rock party Too Much Love, which recently celebrated its 5th anniversary. DJ Times will be in both houses—hope to see you there and take your votes.

For the latest on America’s Best DJ Summer Tour Presented by Pioneer DJ & DJ Times, including all the exciting prizes that fans can win through voting, visiting ABDJ’s Facebook or following us on Twitter—like a trip for two to Las Vegas and gear from Pioneer DJ—please visit www.americasbestdj.net.