Movement - (c) Nicholas Schrunk / Red Bull Content Pool

Last year, Movement (Detroit’s yearly assault on innocent eardrums) turned ten years old and smashed attendance records. Almost 95,000 people from around the nation and throughout the globe came, saw and conquered. This year, the Motor City’s definitive electronic music festival will devour downtown and continue to defy the principles of a genre it was built upon.

Movement is younger than the urban decay littered about the city. It doesn’t remember the invention of the assembly line. It never took a bribe from corrupt politicians. It still can’t drive a stick shift. But the sound of Movement was born out of nature, not nurture. It mimics the moods of a city billed as the perpetual underdog, but is more obsessed with the future of electronic music rather than the down-and-out realities that birthed Detroit techno nearly 25 years ago.

This year, techno and house purists can revel in the traditional. Detroit’s own Aux88, Felix da Housecat, Richie Hawtin, Carl Craig (performing for the first time under pseudonym 69) and Goldie have all been tapped to perform.

But Movement has made a name for itself by standing out and enlisting performers who push the envelope. The diabolical dubstep of Skrillex, the trip-hop of Little Dragon; garage rockers the Dirtbombs (performing Party Store, their audible ode to techno in full); and human beat box phenom Beardyman are among handfuls of innovative artists set to hit the stage in 2011.

And while Movement’s home Hart Plaza is still a year away from gaining additional exhibit space, this concrete jungle on the riverfront is known for its acoustics and sightlines, accounting for everyone from the wallflower sequestered in the back to the drunken girl flailing in the front row.

Here at, we’ve taken the courtesy of highlighting some of our favorite acts this year at Movement below. And, for the next two weeks, we’ll take a look at the city that makes Movement so unique and documenting the festival as it unfolds. Stay tuned.

Gaslamp Killer

10:00PM / Red Bull Music Academy stage / Sunday, May 29

Los Angeles-based DJ known for matching psychedelic sound fields with underground hip-hop flavor. Placing bets on how a Gaslamp Killer show might unfold is like incinerating your paycheck. This guy is too sporadic to predict, making for a live show packed with dynamite effects and sound.

Richie Hawtin

10:00PM / Beatport stage / Monday, May 30

The Canadian golden boy of early ’90s techno. He’d cruise across the border, perform at some of those legendary raves in abandoned Detroit warehouses you’ve heard of and was quickly adopted by the scene. Last year at Movement, Hawtin performed under his minimalist alias Plastikman, closing out the festival shrouded behind a massive wall of LED lights and visual effects.

Venetian Snares

9:30PM / Movement Torino stage / Saturday, May 28

Another Canuck making his way down to Detroit, Venetian Snares is a non-stop bullet train of abrasive, erratic audio. A sense of cinematic drama resides deep in his music, creating the type of live experience Z-Trip and the Crystal Method have been known to conjure up.

Flying Lotus

10:30PM / Red Bull Music Academy stage / Monday, May 30

Part of Warp Records’ elite recording artists, this 28-year-old wunderkind pumps out the type of beats that make J Dilla heads go nuts. Throw in the fact that he comes from the same bloodline as John Coltrane and you quickly realize that this cat is born and bred on natural music-making ability.


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