7 Questions before Movement: Drumcell

Drumcell

“7 Questions before Movement” is an ongoing series in which we ask the same seven questions to as many artists playing at this year’s Movement Detroit festival (formerly known as “DEMF”) as we possibly can. The goal of this series is to familiarize festival goers with the styles and personalities of artists they can expect to see at the festival (because let’s be real – there’s always at least a few names we don’t recognize right away). Given that this is a techno-focused site, we’ll start out by seeing what artists in this genre have to say.

1. Have you been to the festival before, as a performer or just as a listener? If so, what is your most distinct memory from the experience?

I came to Detroit in 2001 for the first time to attend the Music festival and I haven’t missed one since, so it’s been about 12 years in a row. I believe that this festival is one of the more important for electronic music in the US. It is truly the most forward thinking and progressive in terms of the line ups they book. Very few electronic music festivals in US reach that deep in booking cutting-edge artists. I was first asked to play Movement on the main stage back in (I think) 2009. It was an honor after so many years attending the festival to finally be on the other side of the stage and it’s a moment that is stained in memory. I then played a second time on the Beatport stage, which was unannounced. I wasn’t officially on the line up but ended up getting a last minute call only hours before to be prepared to play because another artist unfortunately could not make his time slot. This could have easily been in my top 5 best gigs I’ve ever played. Definitely a night that I will never forget.

2. Do you have any favorite classic Detroit techno tracks or artists?

Too many to name to be honest, Jeff Mills will forever be an incredibly big inspiration for me. To this day he always blows my mind by not conforming to trends and just doing his own thing. His content always seems to express pure art to me and I really like that. Carl Craig, Juan Atkins, Plastikman (Sheet One + Musik were big albums to me when first released) … the list goes on and on. In the end all of the staples of Detroit are an incredible inspiration to me because none of us would really be doing what we are doing if it wasn’t for Detroit.

3. Which artist or artists playing at the festival are you the most excited to see this year?

I am really excited to see Planetary Assault System. This is actually one person in the line up that I have yet to see in person. Also a must attend will be DVS1, Silent Servant & Mike Parker.

4. To give readers a sense of the style of music you play, please name three tracks you’ve been showcasing in your sets lately.

I’m not sure 3 tracks will sum up the style of music I play but off the top of my head, in no particular order…

Reeko – The Women Of Black Glove

Space DJ’z -Grey Matter (Mark Broom Remix)

Heiko Laux – Re Televised (Lucy Remix)

DJ Hyperactive- Wide Open (Len Faki Edit)

James Ruskin – Work (Steve Rachmad Remix)

5. What kind of equipment will you be using for your set, and why do you prefer it?

I play with two laptops independently running Traktor on one computer and Ableton / Maschine on the second computer, also using a lot of External FX processors. I prefer it because I LIKE IT, and its fun! 4 decks + Sample decks in Traktor gives me a lot of options and allows me to be creative on how I edit and re-edit tracks on the fly. Ableton has my primary live set of original material with stems to work with and NI Maschine is a great drum machine to slam on to layer extra drums and sounds on top of the mess of loops I already have going on. In the end the crowd might not know what I’m doing but that doesn’t matter. It’s keeping me entertained and challenged on stage on stage and hopefully keeps them dancing.

6. Electronic music is played in a lot of different contexts and atmospheres. Do you find yourself more drawn to festivals, intimate club shows, or some other type of event? Do you vary your style according to the type of event you’re playing at?

I think there is a right time and place for every track and every kind of techno. For example I’ve played tracks in certain environments such as a small intimate venue and people go absolutely ape shit over the track. You play the same track in a bigger club and everyone is looking at you like you just train wrecked a mix. So generally yes there is an art in figuring out the right time to play the tracks you have in your collection and that naturally varies the style of music you play depending on the venue and surrounding.

7. Can we expect to see you play at any afterparties this year?

I will be playing the CLR afterparty on saturday night. Also my label Droid & Blank Code will have our INTERFACE42 / SCENE afterparty (although I’m not playing, but will be hosting). And Monday I will be playing the underground stage at the festival.

 

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