This Memorial Day weekend, I joined over 700,000 dance music lovers and went to “Movement,” Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival, also known as the DEMF. I flew in with my best bud on Friday to catch some of the 70-plus live performances of the weekend. Festivities ran from 12 p.m. to 12 a.m. Saturday, Sunday and Monday with performances by Peven Everett, Detroit Experiment, Liquid Liquid, ESG, Pole, Kenny Larkin, Kevin Saunderson, Derrek May, Stacey Pullen, Three Chairs, Danny Krivit, Francois K, Slum Village and many more. The DEMF has been an ongoing festival since 1999 held in downtown Detroit at Hart Plaza as a free celebration of Detroit’s music, featuring some of the world’s best DJs and producers.
Detroit techno originated during the early ’80s from black artists like Juan Atkins and Richard Davies. Other pioneers, including Derrek May and Kevin Saunderson, also paved the way for this distinct, new sound. In 1999, Derrek May’s apprentice, Carl Craig, founded the DEMF and has watched the festival has grown in popularity throughout the Midwest, attracting revelers from around the world.
The most memorable performance was on Sunday night with Kenny Dixon Jr. (aka Moodymann), Theo Parrish, Rick Wilhite and Malik Pittman, who make up the DJ group known as the Three Chairs. Moodymann, who rarely deejays, wore a ski mask during his DJ set to ward off photographers. They managed to keep the crowd hyped and getting down with their bad selves for three solid hours, closing the night. Before this, on Saturday night, Kenny Larkin and Kevin Saunderson deejayed with four turntables and a laptop on the main stage in front of at least 20,000 people.
I also checked out Reggie Dokes, Peven Everett, ESG, Liquid Liquid and Pole. If you’re unfamiliar with these artists, it’s suggested you start investigating. All these artists don’t merely spin the conventional “thump thump” associated with dance music, though Detroit had thumpiness to spare come the festival’s close on Monday night. For more information on dance music, check out deephousepage.com and listen to KCSB-FM 91.9 today from 2 to 4 p.m.