DEMF 08

Movement ’08 Wrap-Up

Difficulties ranging from no press passes to my knee problems to my iPhone inexplicably not getting the internet in any consistent manner at Hart Plaza led to no live blogging of the festival. I would say that I am disappointed about that, but really I spent far less time at the festival this year than any previous years so there wasn’t much to talk about.

I’ll break it down day by day…..

Saturday

Egyptian Lover Live

Noting that there was nothing on at the festival that looked interesting until Echospace at 4:00, I used the early afternoon to catch some more record shopping at Record Time and Submerge. Although I picked up alot of fun records (which I will cover in a later post), the lack of Detroit artists and labels having new records in time for the festival was not at all like the usual onslaught of ridiculous tunes that has accompanied every festival I’ve been to before this one. Was this due to the decrease in vinyl sales, or the fact that the festival is not about Detroit music as much as it used to be? There is no way to be sure, but I imagine a little of both are mixed in there.

After standing in an irritatingly long line to buy tickets at the door (we used a debit card instead of cash, I cannot recall card transactions taking as long as these did and for no apparent reason either) I only managed to catch about 1/2 hour of Echospace on the main stage who sounded very nice. I had hoped for some ambient from them, but they seemed to be keeping it pretty house tempo when I was watching. I abandoned them early for Newcleus who were supposed to come on at 5 though some relatively bland hiphop act was still playing until at least 6 or so (despite Moodmat’s assertion that all the artists they saw came on on time, this was pretty annoying as it made me miss the end of Echospace unnecessarily!). Once I got tired of waiting, I snuck down to the underground stage to check out the end of Minx and the beginning of Mike Grant. The underground sounded about as good as I can remember it, and the setup was pretty good for a fun dancefloor experience. Minx was just ending with some really nice deep jams as I got down there, setting the stage for Mike “Moods & Grooves” Grant to pick up where she left off. Unfortunately, he must have mistaken his gig for being in Ibiza as clubby house with buildups and other such nonsense was what he was dropping. In a festival already low on decent house music, this was quite disappointing, especially from someone who plays the deep shit.

Upon getting word that Newcleus was finally starting around 6:15 I headed up to the pyramid stage. I have to say that the sound at this stage was not quite as ridiculous as it was for Rhythm and Sound last year, but it was still quite good. The addition of the tent over that area was really very nice as I can recall my forearms sweating standing in the sun watching Carl Craig a few years back. Newcleus killed it, with vocoded and pitched vocals as well as some live keys being played over their backing tracks. The only weak part of their set was their two “modern” hiphop sounds that sounded like something out of the 90’s but not as good. Still, hearing “Electric Automan”, “Jam On It”, etc. live was extremely dope. Egyptian Lover followed them up with a fantastic set. Kicking it off with a trick filled deejay set of electro classics (on vinyl!), the energy at the stage was quite high. He banged out a wild 808 solo (holding it up in the air on it’s side) and then proceeded to perform his own tracks. I didn’t realise so many people knew his stuff, but it was definitely good to see! After he was done, Peanut Butter Wolf came on and dropped a multigenre party set that was much better than I expected. It was quite sad to see him playing from a laptop since he owns a record label and released an album called “My Vinyl Weighs A Ton”. Gee I wonder why vinyl sales are down?

DBX Live

We headed over to the mainstage and caught the last little bit of Zip who was actually playing some sweet Detroit house at the end of his set. Finally it was time for the DBX live set. Dan Bell is one of my all time favorite producers, his music is so ridiculously dope and very personal at the same time. When he came out onstage surrounded by a TR-909 and two SCI Pro-1’s I knew it was on, and he didn’t disappoint. His set was a flawless representation of his sound, very clean and quirky yet deep. He played classics like “Baby Judy” and “The Symphony (Can You Feel It)” and people just ate it up. I hope all the mnml producers in the house were paying attention, since Dan schooled them on how to make real minimal music.

Following up that most excellent set was Moby. I know Moby knows about good music, so I figured there was at least a chance he could drop some things. His opening cut: Inner City’s “Good Life”. A bit obvious, but set the crowd off nonetheless. His second track: some garbage that ranks amongst the all time worst crap I have ever heard at DEMF. Once he stood up on the stage pumping his fists in the air, it was time to run for the exit. This joker coming on after the greatness of DBX live was insulting and irritating.

Saturday night was Soul Skate and once again it was one of the weekend highlights. My knee problems disappointingly precluded me from being able to skate this year, but I still had an excellent time. I’m not sure whether it is more fun watching the good skaters or watching my friends bumble around trying not to get run over by them. Either which way, it was like a who’s who of Detroit house up in there. I saw Minx, Omar-S, Pirahnahead, Amp Fiddler, Carl Craig, Malik Pittman, Mad Mike, Kenny Dixon Jr. and many others skating around or just hanging out. The soulfood was ridiculously good, especially the green beans and ribs, and the competition was fun with the dancing couple deservedly winning the top spot. I really hope Kenny keeps doing this party every year!

Sunday

Carl Craig Live

Sunday was notable for being one of the absolute worst days of the festival of the 18 days I have spent there. I rolled in around 2 for Keith Worthy and Alton Miller on the main stage, both of whom were killing it on a beautiful warm afternoon to a mostly empty crowd. Either one of these guys could have been a nighttime headliner and just slayed people, but instead we get to see them warming up for the “talent” of guys like Mark Farina. After getting annoyed with Lawnchair Generals, I went to check out Carlos Souffront who was banging out some very nice acid. When he was done, Jared Wilson (whose “Drug Related Stories” 12″ was a highlight of my purchases at last year’s festival) came on with a live acid set. I don’t know if he thinks he is Aphex Twin or if he just happens to rock the same look, but his set was pretty nice anyway. After spending way too much money on bad food, I was looking forward to Mr. De’s live set. Unfortunately, he suffered from the “good catalogue of music but no good ideas on how to present it live” problem that plagues live electronic acts. With Bass Mechanic on the decks, Mr. De’ was just playing and singing a bit on his more famous tunes as well as some new ones. It also didn’t make sense to have him inbetween the Punisher and Kenny Larkin, as the crowd all rolled out before he even started. Kenny Larkin seemed like he would have been a good choice in the underground stage, but he was playing pretty bland stuff and the crowd wasn’t feeling it so much. So I went up to the main stage to be annoyed with Mark Farina. Boy, does he play some nonsense. At this point we are talking about there being at least 2-3 HOURS of me sitting around at the festival with nothing interesting going on for the day.

Thankfully Carl Craig stepped in to save the day. I was concerned that his live set might suffer from the same problems that Mr. De’s did, but in the end of course I had nothing to worry about. With Niko Marks and Kelvin Sholar on keys and Wendell Harrison on sax and clarinet, this was a deep excursion along the lines of the “Paris Live” 12″ that came out last year. Carl expertly manipulated the crowd with the gorgeous epic melodies of tunes like “Darkness”, allowing the live players to do their thing without being noodly in any way before dropping in what seemed to be an endless string of kick drums that got deeper and deeper as the set progressed. The blue lights and beautiful music made for quite an experience that even the more mainstream members of the audience ate up (as evidenced by the crowdsurfing and the chicks flashing their titties at Carl!). This set was exactly what the DEMF is about, it was comparable to UR’s ridiculous live set back in ’05 in terms of perfection. The fact that the biggest stage was crazily packed with people going nuts to deep soulful music while the other stages had much more nonsense mainstream names such as Girl Talk, Richie Hawtin, and Benny Benassi shows that you don’t have to go least common denominator for people to be into the music. Sadly, the crazy attendance for the festival on Sunday (probably the largest I have seen since they started charging money though still nowhere near the free days…) means that we will likely see more and more nonsense in the future.

Sunday night offered a good number of options for afterparties. The one I ended up going to was the Metroplex loft party which featured a lineup of Juan Atkins, Terrence Dixon live/deejay, DeepChord live, Todd Sines live as .xtrak, and a deejay set from Titonton and Archetype. Titonton was tearing it up when we arrived, playing all kinds of dirty house, techno, and broken beats (on vinyl!) in his distinctive cut-up style. The energy was building very well, the smallish grimy space was filled with people and fog, it seemed as if things were about to pop off. Archetype lost the crowd though, despite playing some nice classic disco and soul tunes his flow and mixing seemed to be a little off. The energy was not recovered during Todd Sines’ short live set which leaned more heavily on his recent style than his classic minimal .xtrak material. By the time Juan came on, it was late and even he couldn’t take the party to the next level despite banging it out like it was 1998 (I remember hearing “The Bells”, Convextion, and others…). No one I know made it to see Terrence Dixon play if he did, and I didn’t even see Rod Modell around at all. What a missed opportunity!

Monday

DJ Clent

In terms of diversity of good music, Monday might have been the weakest day of the festival that I can remember. The mainstage was littered with nonsense surrounding Cobblestone Jazz (whom I kind of wanted to check out, but ended up missing) while the underground stage had a very dodgy “Real Detroit” lineup. If you liked nonsense like Josh Wink, Dubfire, or Lee Burridge then the Hawtin sponsored tent was the one for you. If terrible drum and bass is your thing, you would have spent all day at the other crap tent. That leaves the pyramid stage, which saved the day yet again with about 7.5 hours of ghetto tech. From DJ Clent who rocked a really bass heavy hiphop style to Brian Gillespie who played all the old classics mixed up with some new jams, this was really the only place to be. Watching drunk hipster chicks put their asses in each others faces was hilarious! Omega held it down on the mic again, I really love that guy. It was dope to finally get to see DJ Guy in person, he played a quite excellent set. There were a couple iffy artists in there (Paul Martindale playing Crystal Method and Josh Wink?!?!?! Oliver Way playing what sounded like really bad dubstep??!?!) it didn’t matter since the set times were so short that there was always something new around the corner. The highlight of the day was Godfather who has to be one of the most consistant deejays, and also one of my favorites. Following him was Mr. Mixx of 2 Live Crew fame who played a nice selection of 80’s Miami bass jams (many of which have become sample fodder for ghetto tech and booty house tracks) as well as rocking the 808 live. We left before he ended in order to rest up for an afterparty that sleep stopped us from ever getting to. Such is life.

Intangibles

This year was by far the least represented in terms of foreign crew that I could see. I can remember seeing cats from all over the place at the hotel, at the afterparties, in retaurants and record shops, etc. but none of that was present this year. In terms of my own crew from Pittsburgh, the US, and worldwide, this was also by far the least well represented. The lack of real Detroit flavor was obvious from the dearth of new joints at the record shops on through every aspect of the festival. The crowd was far more hipster and raver than anything else, and to be quite honest the vibe of the festival was seriously compromised because of it. Despite some of the better sets I have seen at DEMF (Carl Craig, DBX, Egyptian Lover) the overall feeling changed moreso this year than in any of the previous years. Instead of it feeling like a Detroit festival that had some acts booked to bring in other people, this felt like a rave with some Detroit artists booked to pacify Detroit music fans.

I had a good time this weekend, but it was mainly despite the festival itself, not because of it. I spent probably under half the amount of time at the festival as I did in ’03 or ’05. With the 10th festival coming up next year, it has reached a point where either the subsequent festivals are going to either be more like the original concept or more like this year’s concept. I hope that this year was a bit of a glitch in the matrix, but I don’t think that will be the case. Paxahau’s organization and quality of presentation is quite high, but their artistic direction is questionable at best. They have had some great performers, but they are being far outweighed by the silly stuff. The diversity in tempo and mood is at an all time low, this year especially had little outside of straight up dance music. What happened to the days of thousands of people going nuts for Fat Freddy’s Drop, Amp Fiddler, or the Detroit Experiment? The lack of the local inner city Detroit crowd that has happened since they started charging admission continues to be a very big problem. It seems to me that the financial problems of the past have been solved, so why not try to move back into doing interesting things with the festival instead of playing it so safe and ravey? This festival is too special for that. For the second year in a row, there were multiple stages at which I didn’t even watch a single set. This never happened before! There has to be a balance between being financially stable and being a celebration of Detroit’s electronic music, not just a festival of electronic music that happens to occur in Detroit. Let’s hope Paxahau finds that balance next year. Also, if they have any interest in the out of town people coming through, it would really be beneficial to have the lineup out as early as possible. Even if it is incomplete, waiting as long as they did to announce it makes it financially more difficult for people who fly in to make it, as well as giving them time to make other plans for that weekend. This has been a problem since the beginning of the festival, but with the unparalleled continuity that we have seen with Paxahau, it doesn’t make sense that it would continue to be a problem.

On a more personal note, I need to shout out my crew for the weekend: Kelly, Bolt, Jwan, Shawn, Adam, Matt, Mikebee, Cristina, Goose, Todd, Matt, Guy, Wojtek, Fred, Carleton, Tito, Todd, Alex, Mike, Angie, Malik, Gary, Rick, Derek, and Rick. TJ, too bad we didn’t get to meet up! Next time……

Massive thanks to my main man Matt Cohen for use of his photos. Big ups. They look beautiful!

45 Comments

  1. frank says:

    “ack of Detroit artists and labels having new records in time for the festival was not at all like the usual onslaught of ridiculous tunes that has accompanied every festival”

    I bet it has a lot more to do with the fact that everybody has been insanely busy with other projects/touring/getting interviewed. UR, Theo, Carl, etc. have all seen more press in the past twelve months than they did, well, ever.

  2. matt says:

    Thanks for the wrap-up Tom. It was a nice read. Following on from Frank’s comment, Dopejams is showing that Theo is gonna drop “Love Triumphant” and “We’re Going Downstairs” on vinyl very shortly, so there’s that to look forward to.

  3. colby says:

    >”I bet it has a lot more to do with the fact that everybody has been insanely busy with other projects/touring/getting interviewed. UR, Theo, Carl, etc. have all seen more press in the past twelve months than they did, well, ever.”

    that’s still no excuse for booking tranceclowns like kenneth thomas or booking whole tent with wicked, wicked sound with 90% bleep bloop zzz artists. 😉

  4. Seek says:

    Newcleus had a rocky start, but they weren’t that late. I put their starting time at 5:15 – 5:20 based on photo timestamps.

    Unless you consider them relatively bland too. 😉

  5. Tristan says:

    Thanks for that Tom!

  6. j.fine says:

    man, this makes me wanna fuckin’ cry. sounds like paxahau is going for the gold on this shit. glad to hear there were at least a few cool acts, and soul skate was off the hook.

    moby? trance? was there really fucking TRANCE at the festival this year? FUCK IT.

  7. colby says:

    a slightly better lineup (no trance, and perhaps hipster techno will die off by next year) on those soundsystems (red bull excluded — tom is right) plus more logical and music-centric vendors and CHEAPER FOOD (although the four-ticket hotdogs from that one cart were sublime) should make next year kick ass. i think by now paxahau has realized that they got shafted by paying all that loot for cats like moby or benny benassi (no one really showed up for him, did they?) and can spend their money a little wiser in ’99.

  8. frank says:

    you’re exactly right, but that’s not what I was talking about. I referenced Tom’s observation that this was a bad year for festival timed new records from detroit artists, which has nothing to do with who they poorly chose for booking.

  9. frank says:

    who played trance?

  10. mattcohen says:

    > i think by now paxahau has realized that they got shafted by paying all that loot for cats like moby or benny benassi

    The Pinoneer tent was overflowing for Zabiella and Benassi. It was hard to get anywhere near it for 4 hours. I guarantee they will continue booking acts like this. The lesson Pax learned was that they made money this year because hipsters and trance heads came out.

  11. colby says:

    see my initial post: kenneth thomas, who is a detroit local. and deadmau5 is borderline trance from what i’ve gathered (although i didn’t bother listening to more than 2 mins of his set).

  12. colby says:

    it’s a shame, too, because that little tent had perhaps the most vicious sound system i have ever heard. it even seemed louder than the main stage (although i’m sure it wasn’t) and that’s saying A LOT. my ears were hurting while standing waaay off to the side of it.

    they’ll definitely have to bring in moneymakers like these guys to sell enough tickets, though. that, or downgrade the sound systems a bit.

  13. colby says:

    ah right, right.

  14. gmos says:

    Read an article where Pox were giving their reasoning behind booking acts like Bennassi and Moby, to make it more internationally attractive. but it seems that the opposite is true, there’s hundreds of festivals like this in Europe every year so why travel half way around the world to go to this just because it’s in Detroit?

    it sounds like it’s still good fun and there’s lots to see and hear, but it doesn’t really seem to stand out from any other festival

    http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080522/ENT04/805220318/1039/ENT04

  15. gmos says:

    I caught Egyptian Lover in Dublin last year (Jamie Jupitor was supposed to come too but didn’t make it through customs!) and he killed it! Proper old school electro funk and a good show man. A lot of people didn’t know who he was but really got into it, one of the best gigs in the last year or so from me.

  16. gmos says:

    *for me*

  17. Kenny says:

    Was pretty pissed i missed that show. mates were raving about it. i was doin a rave down in kerry. got shut down after an hour. bah.

  18. frank says:

    wow that kenneth thomas guy is a pretty boy isn’t he? what a bunch of total garbage. perfecto?? what is this, 1996? i had never heard deadmau5 before all the post-festival hype, but he’s pathetic too. lowest common denominator crap.

    sad sad sad.

  19. j.fine says:

    indeed, seems like it should be concentrating on showcasing the plethora of local detroit/domestic cats who dont make it out on world tours and shit like that. i think as long as pax is running the show it’s pretty safe to say that this is just another for the money E-music fest, and no longer something that is special and unique to detroit, showcasing detroit and domestic acts.

    which is pretty fucking ironic, because the lack of detroit acts are going to end up turning a lot of festival-goers away.

  20. colby says:

    Deadmau5 (I cringe every time I write his name out with that ueber-l337 spelling) collaborates with Tommy Lee on tracks. Say no more.

  21. Scott says:

    What was the nonsense surrounding Cobblestone Jazz??

  22. Kikaider01 says:

    very interesting review, Mr Cox. I for one am glad I did not attend this year. Besides, that gives me more money to play with when i visit you fools in Pittsburgh this August.

  23. Mark Maine says:

    It’s all about the money people………….you have to start realizing that by now………….Benassi,Moby and all the other commercial acts are there to make the festival[so-called] less underground or Detroit techno inspired from my observation…………it’s like the host of Movement had enough of Detroit Techno,which is sad really………it’s becoming more European like now……….

  24. colby says:

    Pahaxau was never a Detroit techno promotion, if by Detroit you mean classic artists. Which was why I was very upset when they took over the festival. On the other side of the coin, I don’t know if the festival would even still be around today if they hadn’t.

  25. pipecock says:

    for me at least the problem isnt with the “classic” artists, as Paxahau seem to know what theyre dealing with on that front (this year you had Carl Craig, Dan Bell, Kevin Saunderson, Kenny Larkin, etc). the problem lies in the more modern Detroit sound where their sphere of friends seem to rule the day. they got it right with Keith Worthy this year, but still no Omar-S, no Patrice Scott, etc. it was cool seeing Jared Wilson, but he is still within the Detroitluv community that Paxahau seemed to mine for their “Detroit” talent this year. basically, if you are black and didn’t have records out in the 90’s and are from Detroit, Paxahau seems to not even know you exist.

  26. Excellent review. It was great meeting you over at Soul Skate 08.

    Seeing more Detroit DJ’s and acts will not be forthcoming until Pax realizes that booking both Detroit DJ’s/acts and European DJ’s/acts can turn a profit….if Pax is just about the money.

    The artistic direction of Pax does not even acknowledge the original concept envisioned by C2. This fact can be simply verified by comparing the line-ups/acts selected to perform. Diversity could be seen and heard in the earlier years.

    For me, Pax has successfully dilluted the festival to no end. Pax took control of the festival not as a heartfelt gesture in support Detroit music but for money. It was a business decision that paid off because of the fact that the organization waited, saw the mistakes made by others, pumped certain individuals to provide confidential information as to overcoming political hurdles and walked into the sunshine.

    If you ask me where the original festival as created by C2 can be found Memorial Weekend, then I will direct to Northland Rollerskating Center on 8 Mile Road…..every year for Soul Skate hosted by KDJ. That is where DEMF and that is where she will always be forever.

  27. gmos says:

    I would love to go to Soul Skate, sounds brilliant, and exactly the type of thing you don’t get anywhere else.

  28. Just found you through a link off ResidentAdvisor. I’m a photojournalist that has been covering Movement for several years, if you saw me you’d recognize I’m sure. Being on the visual side of attending the festival I don’t typically have a lot of listening time when bouncing from stage to stage for photos.

    There are areas our opinions are similar and others that are opposed, but I understand everyone’s interests are their own. One of my favorite performances from the weekend was on the Red Bull stage – Kill Memory Crash. They were in some ways reminiscent of seeing Nitzer Ebb on the main stage a few years ago.

    When it comes to the stages…
    Beatport has been consistent the past few years and some people stay at that stage all weekend long.
    The Red Bull/Pyramid stage has been the spot to find what I’d consider deviations from techno. The Ghetto Tech presence has been getting stronger every year.
    The Underground/Real Detroit stage has been a disappointment from year to year with the closed concrete environment. Perhaps curtaining the walls would help, don’t know. I was extremely pleased with accessibility of the stage for photos – prior years were miserable.
    Vitamin Water/Main stage setup this year seems to have settled in on configuration. Only problem has been the variations on access for media that seems to vary every four hours. This year I’m hoping they got the message and next year will have a decent solution. Problem is that some artists want a sparse stage and others want the party right up next to them. That creates confusion and makes it tough to predict how to access a stage as a photographer.

    Next time you’re around for DEMF give a shout.

  29. haley says:

    were we at the same festival?? it was nothing less than amazing.

  30. pipecock says:

    have you been to previous DEMFs? which ones?

  31. Colin says:

    Writing people off as nonsense is sad, it is a cop-out. I personally don’t dig Benny Bennassi or Moby, but I would never write off someone like Lee Burridge or Josh Wink as “nonsense”. Also, Mark Farina is one of the greatest chicago house dj’s on the planet, you just don’t like the style, which is fine. Elitism=bad. Good luck with that.

  32. pipecock says:

    “I would never write off someone like Lee Burridge or Josh Wink as “nonsense”.”

    hahahahahaha.

    “Also, Mark Farina is one of the greatest chicago house dj’s on the planet”

    man, i love chicago house. he is not even close to decent, much less one of the greatest.

    if you want to call me elitist for having taste, i am cool with that.

  33. bigbernardo says:

    Guys, I don’t understand how you don’t see this yet…You’ve got to understand some basic Adam Smith:
    “It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
    If Pax didn’t include acts that would allow them to make money on the festival they wouldn’t spend months planning it. In fact, no one is going to do it without an ability to at least cover costs and make some profit. Now ask yourselves…would you rather have a festivals with a bit of bullsh!3 artists, or no festival at all?
    Yes, there have been past DEMFs that were exceptions to the rule and really focused on only sick, underground sh!@3 but I belive most were a finacial disaster. Unfortunately the laws of the market apply to these types of events as well.

    That said, I do think these types of discussion will help Pax figure out what the fans want while still making this financially viable. The point you bring up Tom about non-classic but still sick Detroit artists like Omar-S not featuring is truly valid. Hopefully someone at Pax will take notice and book some next year.
    I for one loved the damn weekend and hope to return next year. I’ll deal with some Deadghey and hipsters if they balance it out with some realness!

  34. mattcohen says:

    >You’ve got to understand some basic Adam Smith

    hahaha. i spent the weekend making this case to tom. you’re barking up the wrong tree. he is not a capitalist.

  35. pipecock says:

    ““It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.””

    the difference is that Paxahau wouldn’t even have this festival to do if it were not for the efforts by the people before them who made the name what it is today. i understand the need to balance out the detroit stuff with other things, but their balance this year is way off. it is not benevolence i am looking for, what i want is them to do this shit properly. the city made an exception in allowing this festival to charge money in hart plaza because it was a DETROIT thing, not because it was some big silly rave. i wonder if their decreased Detroit presence is being noticed by any of the people in charge of allowing them to do that?

  36. pipecock says:

    dood, you would lose your mind at that shit. it is seriously the most awesome party.

  37. quberunner says:

    Sounds like you didn’t have a good time at pipecock electronic music festival this year. What was PAX thinking! You should of been at [KONTROL], try digging a little deeper, maaaaaaan……

  38. l0ckd0wn says:

    It is pretty obvious that you aren’t from Detroit, nor actually know as much as you think you know about music. I am so sorry that you thought it was that bad, personally I would just stay home with your attitude next year, leave the dancing to those that want to be here.
    “At this point we are talking about there being at least 2-3 HOURS of me sitting around at the festival with nothing interesting going on for the day.”
    Wow, you had that much down time? Like was said before, elitism is a disease that infect those who think they actually have “taste” when in fact it is a lack of openmindedness that is truly the problem. I have been to every festival since inception and although the artists this year were “world class” having dubfire, hawtin, burridge… ya know, all those who you ignored at the Beatport stage… they did draw a crowd, especially for those that live in Detroit and do not get to see these acts regularly, or at all. Tsk Tsk, bring a box of tissues next year so that when you cry, you have something to wipe your tears rather than posting such “nonsense” about a festival that has matured to be one of the best ever. Oh, and as for “Kenneth Thomas,” being a Detroit native, I would have expected better than clown coming from someone who supposedly “knows the scene.” I enjoy your writing, but not what you wrote. Only hope that next year your mind is more open than the blinders you wear to “DETROIT TECHNO.”

  39. Ronan says:

    “I hope all the mnml producers in the house were paying attention, since Dan schooled them on how to make real minimal music.”

    erm…just like he’s paying attention to them, by signing their records and playing them?

    not even the people you praise are as myopic as you are.

  40. pipecock says:

    *I* am the myopic one? how many dan bell records do you own? oh wait, i know exactly how many, zero since he hasn’t put out shit since you started liking “techno”. too bad you didn’t buy minimal techno when it was good, i guess that was because you were so wide ranging in your taste. hahahaha. sucker.

  41. Ronan says:

    if you can hold the insults I’m curious what you actually think of the fact that Bell is releasing and playing what you call “mnml”

    well?

  42. pipecock says:

    i think the same thing i think about Carl Craig releasing similar music: they need to get paid. i won’t buy the shit unless it is good, he is not an infalliable deejay though he can make even weak records sound interesting. but the main point is, the day any joker mnml producer makes a track as good as Dan’s weakest track, i will be sure to let you know. i won’t be holding my breath in anticipation…..

  43. Put Your Hands Up says:

    Or you could have just rented one of those most excellent bikes from Wheelhouse Detroit on the river, which we did in order to escape the trance braindeath for a Belle Isle tour—That is where the real Detroit is and she will always be forever. Families grilling, soul music and crunk, Belle Isle provided more artistic inspiration for me than the entire festival. This year was a HUGE disappointment, Moby lost all respect points for his cheap shot at trying to earn crowd points by throwing Inner City down for his first song. This in conjunction with the PURE DETROIT sweatshirt he probably just bought that weekend was enough to make me want to kidnap and strand him at a gas station on the deep eastside at three a.m.! (he can earn his damn sweatshirt, the fool!)

    I agree with all the comments made, and was depressed for about 1 week after…The only time I caught a whiff of the D was Kenny Larkin’s mesmerizing set, one of the best I have ever heard (up there with James Pennington 2005 for sure.) Technical difficulties and all I was shaken to the core. It was worth my entire $50 admission and provided a total reprieve from all that weird Roseville gothic candy raver poor excuse for trancy music I heard throughout the weekend. DEMF was so pedestrian and mundane this year, I didn’t even bother with Monday I was so demoralized. Get it together Pax, and restore honor a la 2000-2005 to the DEMF. More LOCALS!!!!, more fringe stuff, More UR! Where were they in the lineup this year anyway?

  44. marick says:

    first off, i’m going to start with your ending… if you had been paying ANY attention to the promotion of the festival this year you’d know that the line-up had started being announced back in the end of march/beginning of april which for the festival is EXTREAMLY early. i can’t remember a festival where the line-up was announced that early. in the past you didn’t find out who was playing until 2 or 3 weeks B4 the festival! so idon’t know what your talking about as far as that goes and honestly, i don’t know if YOU know what you were talking about!

    second, there was PLENTY of crap music wise this year but there was also PLENTY of REALLY good stuff. i don’t know how you can say that ghetto tech and booty house is any less crap then say cassy or zip or cobblestone jazz (which are FAR from crap by the way). cassy & zip are 2 of the best most in demand and most underground house/minimal house dj’s in the world. cassy is the resident DJ at one of the biggest and most well known clubs in europe and zip runs one of the biggest labels in electronic music. and both ROCKED it this year. lee burridge is a resident at THE biggest most reputable club in europe (ie. fabric) and is one of he best DJ’s in the world! godfather on the other hand is one of the cheesiest most watered down and mainstream detroit dj’s there is! matthew hawtin played one of the most amazing oldschool ambient sets i’ve ever heard and tycho played some of the most stunning IDM i’ve ever heard! and thats all on top of carl craig, deepchord, egyption lover, DBX etc… maybe you need to open your mind a bit musicaly and try looking around the festival for good music rather then just going to see who you know and then making rediculous generalazations about everyone else!

    there wasn’t as big of an international presence this year as there has been in the past that is true. but that is not only at the festival. WMC was the same. and i don’t think it is the festival or WMC’s fault either. it’s because A LOT of international people don’t want to deal with all the crap of GOV. gives people as far as passports, visa’s etc… are concerned and it’s also because a lot of people don’t want to come to this country because of GWB. and to add to that the econemy SUCKS and people just don’t have the money to spend of long trips to the US like they used to. the festival has very little to do with it.

    as for paying for the festival goes why don’t you just shut it! it’s $40 for 3 days! you pay $20 or $25 + to get into a club on any give saturday night to hear a dj (most of the time a local dj at that) play for 2 or 3 hours while at the festival you pay $40 for 36 hours of music from some of the biggest names in music that anywhere else would cost you an arm and a lag to go see individually. yeah, you’re not going to want to see EVERYONE that is playing but even if you only want to see 5 artists all weekend it’s worth the $40! you’d have to pay 2 or 3 or maybe even 4 times that much to see ANY of those 5 artists individually in a normal club on a normal weekend night so quit complaining about the $40 fee and the preceaved lack of talent that you seem to have.

    as for the vibe, i though it was ok. was different then in the past. it was most chilled and seemed that everyone there knew each other. it was like one big family this year. and it was WAY more musically educated this year then in the past. i didn’t see any more raverish people this year then in the past. in fact i saw WAY less! the crowd were just way more clued up in general. yeah, you got your mainstream idiots who came to see moby and girl talk and who didn’t have a clue about anything else and you had your ravers who were just there to do drugs and party but in general everyone there knew what was going on musically.

    i’ll close by saying that for the most part you have NO clue what you are talking about in that review and you shouldn’t be openning your mouth if you don’t know what you’re talking about which obviously you don’t.

    cheers!

  45. pipecock says:

    “first off, i’m going to start with your ending… if you had been paying ANY attention to the promotion of the festival this year you’d know that the line-up had started being announced back in the end of march/beginning of april which for the festival is EXTREAMLY early. i can’t remember a festival where the line-up was announced that early. in the past you didn’t find out who was playing until 2 or 3 weeks B4 the festival! so idon’t know what your talking about as far as that goes and honestly, i don’t know if YOU know what you were talking about!”

    early compared to the years when the possibility of the festival happening was completely in doubt. not early compared to when competing festivals worldwide such as Sonar and Mutek start announcing their lineups. and with the unprecedented continuity in promotion team as well as the obvious strong organization, there is NO EXCUSE FOR WAITING SO LONG TO ANNOUNCE IT. the earlier they announce the lineup (even if they just toss up 1/2-3/4 of what will be the final lineup), the more international presence there will be. end of story.

    “second, there was PLENTY of crap music wise this year but there was also PLENTY of REALLY good stuff. i don’t know how you can say that ghetto tech and booty house is any less crap then say cassy or zip or cobblestone jazz (which are FAR from crap by the way).”

    i am not sure what review you read where i said that Cobblestone Jazz or Zip were crap. in fact, if you go back and look i mentioned that Zip played some nice stuff perfect for warming up for DBX and that i straight up missed CJ even though i wanted to check them out.

    “cassy & zip are 2 of the best most in demand and most underground house/minimal house dj’s in the world. cassy is the resident DJ at one of the biggest and most well known clubs in europe and zip runs one of the biggest labels in electronic music. and both ROCKED it this year. lee burridge is a resident at THE biggest most reputable club in europe (ie. fabric) and is one of he best DJ’s in the world!”

    i want you to guess how much the phrases “most in demand”, “one of the biggest and most well known clubs in europe”, “runs one of the biggest labels in electronic music”, and “a resident at THE biggest most reputable club in europe” mean to me. i’ll give you a second to meditate on that.

    “godfather on the other hand is one of the cheesiest most watered down and mainstream detroit dj’s there is!”

    he is only one of the people behind the invention of a whole style of muisc.

    “matthew hawtin played one of the most amazing oldschool ambient sets i’ve ever heard and tycho played some of the most stunning IDM i’ve ever heard!”

    good for them!

    “and thats all on top of carl craig, deepchord, egyption lover, DBX etc…”

    4 artists that i care about. whoopty dee. that would have made up one afternoon of music at the 03 festival.

    “maybe you need to open your mind a bit musicaly and try looking around the festival for good music rather then just going to see who you know and then making rediculous generalazations about everyone else!”

    open MY mind musically? hahahahahaha.

    “there wasn’t as big of an international presence this year as there has been in the past that is true. but that is not only at the festival. WMC was the same. and i don’t think it is the festival or WMC’s fault either. it’s because A LOT of international people don’t want to deal with all the crap of GOV. gives people as far as passports, visa’s etc… are concerned and it’s also because a lot of people don’t want to come to this country because of GWB. and to add to that the econemy SUCKS and people just don’t have the money to spend of long trips to the US like they used to. the festival has very little to do with it.”

    i’m not sure how much you understand currency exchange, but after reading this comment i am going to guess the answer is nothing at all. the dollar is EXTREMELY weak against the pound and euro right now. aside from paying for the plane ticket in their own currency, a european or british traveller can have up to twice the buying power here that they can in their own country. it is the cheapest it has ever been for them to do anything in america. none of my friends from out of the country had anything to say about the airport nonsense, in fact that has been a problem the entire festival except for the first two that happened before 9/11 and yet there was always a much higher number of intercontinental heads at the festival. the problem was the continued lateness of the lineup, the lack of talent that they can’t already see in europe or the UK much more easily, and a good bit of resignation that the lineup just wasn’t very good compared to other years.

    “as for paying for the festival goes why don’t you just shut it! it’s $40 for 3 days! you pay $20 or $25 + to get into a club on any give saturday night to hear a dj (most of the time a local dj at that) play for 2 or 3 hours while at the festival you pay $40 for 36 hours of music from some of the biggest names in music that anywhere else would cost you an arm and a lag to go see individually. yeah, you’re not going to want to see EVERYONE that is playing but even if you only want to see 5 artists all weekend it’s worth the $40! you’d have to pay 2 or 3 or maybe even 4 times that much to see ANY of those 5 artists individually in a normal club on a normal weekend night so quit complaining about the $40 fee and the preceaved lack of talent that you seem to have.”

    you must be retarded, because i dont see where i mentioned having a problem with myself paying for the festival. what i did say was that the ever increasing price is limiting the local inner city Detroit crowd who isn’t interested in paying $25 a day for an outdoor rave but who always came down when the festival was free to check it out and had a good time. that crowd was a large part of what made the festival so much more than just a rave. now, it is just a rave. i would gladly pay double or triple if it meant that Detroit city residents could get in for free or for a very small (~$5 or so) fee. it would help combat the diversity that is being sucked out of the festival year by year.

    “as for the vibe, i though it was ok. was different then in the past. it was most chilled and seemed that everyone there knew each other. it was like one big family this year.”

    ????

    “and it was WAY more musically educated this year then in the past.”

    hahahahaha. if you say so, ace.

    “i didn’t see any more raverish people this year then in the past. in fact i saw WAY less! the crowd were just way more clued up in general. yeah, you got your mainstream idiots who came to see moby and girl talk and who didn’t have a clue about anything else and you had your ravers who were just there to do drugs and party but in general everyone there knew what was going on musically.”

    i am just completely bewildered by this statement.

    “i’ll close by saying that for the most part you have NO clue what you are talking about in that review and you shouldn’t be openning your mouth if you don’t know what you’re talking about which obviously you don’t.”

    yeah, *i* obviously have no clue what i am talking about. *you* on the other hand, should consider starting your own blog and writing for worldwide publications about Detroit music since you seem to have it all on lock.

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