Movement Festival shows Detroit is still leading the way for techno – Mixmag
The closing day of Movement veered into more familiar ‘festival’ terrain, with big sets by Duck Sauce, GRiZ, and Flying Lotus that brought out the fractal-print T-shirt crowd. But it never lost its local flavor, especially on the Detroit stage, where artists like Francois Dillinger and Deon Jamar represented what seems to be a return to the city’s icy electro roots. On the Pyramid stage, Detroit mainstay DJ Minx, one of only a handful of Black women on the weekend’s line-up alongside, hosted one of the festival’s most raucous blocks of programming, bringing the off-the-chain energy the city’s clubs are famous for out into the open air. Even LTJ Bukem and Goldie (who wore an Underground Resistance tee onstage) paid tribute to the city by ending their B2B set of arena-sized drum ‘n’ bass bangers with a detour into classic techno.
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But the night, and the crowd, belonged to Jeff Mills. Taking the main stage in a crisp shirt buttoned to the collar despite the summery heat, he crafted a masterful marathon two-and-a-half hour headlining set, meticulously arranging a palette of vintage drum and synth sounds into wave after wave of shimmering techno that lived up to his nom de beat The Wizard. Dance music is by nature manipulative, and over the course of his set Mills played the crowd as much as he did the bank of gear surrounding him on stage, building up the tension again and again, but denying us the release we craved. Finally, as the festival’s 11:PM end time approached, he let go, punching in flurries of drum rolls and ecstatic waves of synths that pushed the crowd—many of us physically exhausted after three straight days of dancing—into a frenzy. Eleven o’clock came and went and Mills kept going. After a stage staffer shuffled up to him twice, obviously letting him know he’d blown through curfew, he finally let loose one last barrage of snares, then stopped dead, the silence deafening, the massive crowd begging for more.
Miles Raymer is a freelance writer, follow them on Twitter