“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). Our final interview will be Detroit’s own Erika, known for her unique hardware-focused tracks and live performances.
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?
Yes, I’ve attended every festival… and this will be my fifth time playing at it. Three times I’ve played as Ectomorph live (including the first festival) and 2 years ago I did an experimental electronic DJ set to open the Detroit stage Monday morning. This will be my first time performing a solo live PA.
My most distinct memory across all the years is the vibe at the first festival, of the whole city coming together at the ground level in celebration of this music.
2. Do you have any favorite classic Detroit techno tracks or artists?
Drexciya is probably the first Detroit techno artist I fell completely in love with… Drexciya 4 is one of my favorite records of all time.
3. Which artist or artists playing at the festival are you the most excited to see this year?
I’m excited for the techno lineup on Monday at the Underground stage. [Editor’s Note: this lineup includes Brendon Moeller, Mike Parker, Rrose, Drumcell, Truncate, Silent Servant, DVS1]
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 I’m giving a live PA not a DJ set.. so the music in my set will be 100% mine, some tracks from my forthcoming LP “Hexagon Cloud” and also some new material. But a few of new favorite records in my DJs set include the Audio Atlas “Window 2 the World” LP, the new Orphx EP on Sonic Groove, and Hakim Murphy on Synapsis.
5. What kind of equipment will you be using for your set, and why do you prefer it?
My live PA is all hardware. I will be using an Octopus sequencer, 4 synthesizers, 2 effects pedals and a drum machine. I compose all of my music using the sequencer as the main controller, and improvise live arrangements for the live PA. I do not use a computer during composing or performance (live or DJ) — I just can’t stand the glow of monitors when I’m trying to have fun!
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?
My style and flow definitely varies according to the context. I enjoy doing both experimental/ambient and also techno/house DJ sets, which are extremely different from each other.. and for dance, it just comes out different if you’re playing outdoors or during the day than in the middle of the night (or morning?) at the club… For my live PA, the arrangements and flow of the show are all improvised, and are a reaction to the crowd and the space.
7. Can we expect to see you play at any afterparties this year?
I’m giving a short teaser live PA at “NO WAY BACK at all” on Sunday evening — to give a glimpse of the full hour I’ve got planned for Monday afternoon’s festival performance.