Movement: Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival is a staple on the EDM community, specifically to house and techno music which were born in Chicago and Detroit respectively. The Detroit based festival began in 2000 and has over-come management changes as well as other controversy to become a successful 3 day mecca for dance music fans and artists alike. Staying true to the original concept of featuring the progressive and underground dance acts along side the veterans of the craft, Paxahau’s Movement should be a bucket list item that any dance music fan should experience.
DUBBYstep’s weekend in Detroit was short, but packed with amazing music and stories. Arriving Saturday in Detroit, as DEMF is always over Memorial Day weekend running from Saturday to Monday, we attended the Dirtybird Records after party held at the legendary Leland Hotel City Club thanks to label head and long time Detroit local, Claude Vonstroke, pulling some strings. Every act on that lineup (Justin Jay, WORTHY, JPhlip, Eats Everything, Justin Martin, Claude Vonstroke, and Christian Martin in that order) was flawless in getting the crowd built up to the point of dripping sweat yet still jumping out of their shoes until 6 AM! There is no doubt in anyone’s mind who made it to the end that Christian Martin aka Leroy Peppers unveiling his new remix of “Don’t Go” for brother Justin Martin was the highlight of the night. A true “life moment” for the Martin brother’s and die hard Dirtybird fans alike… Justin Martin screams out in the video, “You are witnessing history!!! You are witnessing f***ing history!!!” as his brother concludes playing his “surprise present”.
Video from DUBBYstep provided below, and keep an eye out for DAY TWO of DEMF from your very own DUBBYstep.com…
Shortly after our plane landed and we were checked in to the hotel we arrived at what looks like a Miami mansion turned into an event site at Villa 221; the smell from the grill of the Dirtybird Record Label BBQ and rumble of groovy bass-lines coming from the outdoor courtyard set the perfect mood for a Miami day party. We were welcomed by Catz n Dogz dropping some mellow feel good tracks and a crowd of people sprawled out all over the astro turf courtyard bobbing their heads sporting new, free for the first 300 people, custom Dirtybird Stunner Shades (stunnerofthemonth.com).
Next came opening sets by Ardalan, who co-produced with Justin Martin on “Mr.Spock” & “LEZGO” and Breach, who both built the vibes up nicely for official Dirtybird member, J.Phlip. J.Phlip is my favorite female DJ/producer, so you can imagine how happy I was, and she delivered beautifully never losing her perfectly synchronated bounce to the beat (pictured above). Christian Martin under new alias Leroy Peppers then cranked up the mood as well as the volume, but when he was asked by security to turn it down he kindly abided for about ten seconds and then laughed as he turned the volume back up and then some. A true highlight of Leroy Peppers’ set had to be his funky rework of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” (video below).
The bass was beginning to rumble Villa 221, and it was time for Claude Vonstroke, the Dirtybird Label head, to take the stage. His set was a sleazy journey of spacey sounds, a highlight being when he spun a version of his well known “Who’s Afraid of Detroit”. Phife Dawg from A Tribe Called Quest made a special guest appearance playing some songs to a warm welcoming from the crowd. Justin Martin closed off the outdoor part of the evening after the sun went down with an array of, signature to his style, fun loving yet grimy bass bombs, and even some tracks off his up and coming debut artist LP, “Ghettos and Gardens” to make everyone’s heads bob and bodies wobble to the pounding bass. WORTHY and Eats Everything spun sets inside to small intimate rooms filled with people dancing their way in from outside to close the night. Serve video below with heavy bass and on some quality speakers/headphones, and you’ll understand what kind of day it was and night it became with WORTHY and Eats Everything’s-” Tric Trac”
Switching gears from the Dirtybird BBQ we attended the Smog vs. Bass-head event at Mekka Nightclub later that night. The lineup included dub-step favorites 12th Planet, Zeds Dead, 16 bit, Dirtyphonics, as well as drum and bass legend Goldie, Drop the Lime, and a number of other solid names. Amongst the headliners that I was truly there to see was Pendulum. At a dub-step/drum and bass show I figured Pendulum would be playing as Knife Party, except for the fact that Knife Party was playing Ultra Music Festival. So Rob Swire and Gareth McGrillen put Pendulum on the ticket but everyone in the crowd knew it was a “Knife Party” in Mekka Thursday night. Awesome.