Detroit – Despite temperatures that hit the mid-90s, thousands of dance-music fans flooded into Motown’s Hart Plaza this past Memorial Day weekend for the Movement festival. Produced by Paxahau on May 26-28, Movement presented nearly 100 DJs and electronic acts on five sponsored stages.
As always, Movement also served as the launch of America’s Best DJ, the fan vote that seeks to find the most popular jock in the land. Presented by DJ Times, the three-month vote is supported by a summer tour that’ll allow fans to cast their ballots for their favorite DJ and win prizes. (To see the 2018 nominees and vote, please visit here.) At Hart Plaza, DJ Times maintained a dedicated activation booth that took fan votes and distributed the latest issues of the magazine.
Additionally, DJ Times shared its booth space with Give A Beat, a non-profit, social-justice organization that, among other activities, provides mentorship programs (music and graphics) for recently released inmates. At Movement, Give A Beat conducted fund-raising Giant Jenga games with talents like The Saunderson Brothers, DJ Holographic, J.Phlip, Soul Clap and more.
At this year’s Movement festival, 13 nominees for the America’s Best DJ title hit the decks. They included Carl Craig; Claude VonStroke; DJ Godfather; Justin Martin; MANIK; Stacey Pullen; Anthony Parasole; Kevin Saunderson; The Martinez Brothers (B2B with Loco Dice); Diplo; Dubfire; J.Phlip; and Mija.
Movement Highlights from ABDJ Nominees: At the Star Gate stage Saturday, Stacey Pullen dropped a set of uniquely soulful techno that connected deeply with the clued-in crowd – a Kosmic Messenger, indeed. Carl Craig followed up with a coterie of onstage players that kept the dancefloor pulsing. Earlier on the Pyramid Stage (and through some thick humidity), MANIK got the daytime groovers going with a deft tech-house set.
Also on Saturday at the Red Bull Music Academy Stage, DJ Godfather worked past some technical issues and – along with MCs Good Money and Lil Mz – ripped a set of ghetto-tech that had plenty of booties shaking. Later, on the main Movement stage, Dirtybird players held sway with Justin Martin dropping quirky tracks and Claude VonStroke going a little darker than usual.
On Sunday at the Underground Stage, Anthony Parasole delivered a resounding afternoon techno set that expertly balanced forceful boom with beatless sonics. On the main Movement stage, The Martinez Brothers B2B set with Loco Dice pushed the party by matching hands-in-the-air moments with taut, techy beats.
On a sweltering Monday at the Star Gate stage, J.Phlip got the plaza grooving with jacking Dirtybird tracks, then Mija (DJ Times’ cover gal for May) kicked into a delicious R&B/disco set that transcended the heat. Dubfire closed out the Pyramid stage with a typically expert set of chuggy, bewildering techno.
Other Highlights: From non-ABDJ nominees, there were plenty of memorable moments, including tight Sunday sets from Modeselektor and Laurent Garnier who both dazzled the throngs at the Red Bull Music Academy Stage – the former playing with techno dynamics, the latter attaching more groove to the action. On the same stage on Saturday, Ed Rush and Optical thrilled fans with a tasty set of drum-n-bass buzz bombs. On Sunday at the Underground Stage, Charlotte de Witte’s rumbling techno pushed the dark room into a gleeful lather.
For the latest on America’s Best DJ, please visit www.americasbestdj.us.