“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?
Many times actually but it has been FAR too long since the last one. The Paxahau boys are truly family for me and I have had more life changing evenings in Detroit with said crew than is possible to count on two hands, so it is absolutely wonderful to be coming back. Though it wasn’t a Movement experience specifically, playing reggae 7-inches with Detroit reggae Don big Daddy Edgar in a tent in the pissing rain outside of Motor during the Tastefest many years ago was easily one of the happiest moments of my life. We had to be careful touching the decks as we were getting shocks from the rain running through the booth, but the sea of ear to ear smiles in the crowd out front made every mini-electrocution beyond worth it.
2. Do you have any favorite classic Detroit techno tracks or artists?
For tracks don’t even get me started or the Internet as a whole may slow down as a result of the bombastic fury of additional text and hyper-linkage. In terms of artists though Mad Mike Banks holds a very special place in my heart, though more for one-to-one personal reasons. I’ve had the pleasure to spend time with Mike many times over the years and I always come away from our conversations inspired and filled with a renewed sense of purpose. He is truly a once in a generation visionary and it is my great pleasure to have had the opportunity to hear his sage advice and enjoy his company.
3. Which artist or artists playing at the festival are you the most excited to see this year?
The Bug is certain to be devastating, Dabrye is definitely also a man with a serious plan. On the the techno / house tip, Mike Parker, Masters at Work, and Cajmere are unmissable to say the least.
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.
Well as it’s all live and a great deal of new stuff I can’t really give to much reference – but rest assured the bass weight, be it of the techno or half time variety, will give the very foundations of the underground stage’s concrete a serious run for it’s money.
5. What kind of equipment will you be using for your set, and why do you prefer it?
Mixer, effects, maybe a drum machine or 2. Classic Dub configurations ala Mad Professor, Scatch, and all the Dub Prophets past and present.
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 find yourself varying your style according to the type of event you’re playing at?
I’ve had the great opportunity to play intimate gallery spaces, shopping malls, meteor craters, tug boats, festivals for 5,000 people and clubs for 50 over the years so naturally things change from space to space. Detroit folks know good music when they hear it though so I’m not the least concerned with towing the line of expectation. Things will get weird, things will get techno, things may even get straight up reggae. At the end of the day those in the know will be there and all faring well I may gain a few converts along the way.
7. Can we expect to see you play at any afterparties this year?
Not so far but knowing my penchant for the long haul and considering previous Detroit experiences I’ll bring an exta bag of records just in case.