Happy Memorial Day! The final day of Movement Festival is full of top talent to bring in the holiday with style. What better way to end the night but with the one and only, Wu-Tang Clan!? Let’s cut to the point: don’t miss these heavy hitters and check out the rest of our top picks below.
MARSHALL APPLEWHITE // 2:00pm-3:00pm [RED BULL STAGE]
Per Movement’s official website: “If EDM is drug music, Marshall Applewhite is the anti-drug. Every 16 year old kid on molly would run from this stuff.” He is an up and coming name on the Detroit music scene and fans who are already hip to this come-up artist will not be miss this early set. The first thing that comes up on a quick internet search of him was the face of a man recognize from doing research on my favorite Captain Murphy song.
“Pray for Avicii,” the first track on his Soundcloud, will likely leave you wondering what Applewhite’s opinion of the late artist actually was. Given that it bears no resemblance to Avicii’s work, maybe not good? But if we infer based on just the song itself (my head was bobbing), so I’m hesitant to make a definitive judgement.
STACEY “HOTWAXX” HALE // 4:00pm-5:30pm [MOVEMENT STAGE]
Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale is an essential part of Detroit’s electronic music legacy. Affectionately known as the “Godmother of House Music” by her fans, Hotwaxx has provided the soundtrack to Detroit’s embrace of house music since the very beginning. Featured on a variety of stations in the mid-to-late 80’s (she currently hosts her “Generations” show every third Sunday of the month on Red Bull Radio), she has played in integral role in not only establishing house music in Detroit, but also paving the way for female DJ’s in what is often a male-dominated industry.
When asked how she prevails in such an environment, she says, “It’s tough. It ain’t changed.” While progress has certainly been made with regards to society’s awareness of these unfair and outdated tendencies, complacency is the last thing we need, and Hotwaxx’s genuine conviction is inspiring to say the least. “Nobody can do what I’ve done, ‘cause I’ve already done it.”
DELANO SMITH // 5:30pm-7:00pm [MOVEMENT STAGE]
It’s impossible to do history justice. Wherever we define the “beginning,” we ignore the preceding events that made such remarkable moments possible. Such is the case with Delano Smith, along with one of his major musical inspirations, Ken Collier (Stacey “Hotwaxx” Hale could also be cited here).
While the Belleville Three and Underground Resistance will retain their rightful place in Detroit’s storied musical history, Delano Smith represents a larger theme in cultural understanding; while we must accept our limitations with humility, we mustn’t be too possessive of beginnings. Nothing could progress without solid ground to stand on, and before the terms “house” and “techno” were coined, Smith was there.
J.PHLIP // 6:00pm-8:00pm [STARGATE STAGE]
J.Phlip’s story is all too familiar for anyone trying to make it as an artist: despite winning a DJ competition in 2005 and touring the US, it took some time for her work to gain traction in an industry that is not for the faint of heart. Her hard work eventually caught the eye of Claude VonStroke and Dirtybird records, and since then she has become a household name for anyone that’s familiar with the label.
Though she hails from Champaign, Illinois, her Dirtybird family has certainly made her feel at home in Detroit. With support from the home team, and an international platform with a slot at one of electronic music’s most prestigious music festivals, things are looking good for J.Phlip. Be sure to catch her on Monday to see for yourself.
HITO // 6:00pm-8:00pm [PYRAMID STAGE]
What do you get when you combine Japanese heritage, Berlin-influence, a co-sign from one of the industry’s biggest names, and a killer vinyl collection? Hito has evolved from an inspired music enthusiast into an impressively disciplined DJ, spinning 100% vinyl sets that show off snippets of her sophisticated taste and earning the support of the likes of Richie Hawtin.
The Pyramid Stage is a beautiful thing. Overlooking the river, the scene is as close to a tropical paradise as Detroit can get. An evening set from such a talented and promising DJ seems like the perfect way to embrace the latter-half of the festival’s final day. If I need a quick moment to replenish and immerse into a thoughtful musical selection, this is where you can find me.
DJ PREMIER // 8:00pm-9:15pm [RED BULL STAGE]
DJ Premier is widely hailed as one of the all-time greatest hip hop producers. As one half of Gang Starr, he and Guru were pioneers in jazz-rap fusion without forward-thinking production and intricately crafted lyrics. DJ Premier has continued this work with his career since, and he’s probably worked with almost everyone in the top 5 dead or alive discussion.
Notably for his appearance in Detroit, some of his most impressive recent work has been with Prhyme, his collaborative project with Detroit rap royalty Royce Da 5’9, who just released perhaps his magnum opus with the album Book of Ryan. You can guarantee that Premier’s set will include plentiful throwbacks, turntable prowess, and perhaps even a few special guests if we’re lucky.
DIPLO // 10:30pm-11:30pm [RED BULL STAGE]
I know, I know- but you must admit that Diplo is good at what he does, whether it’s your type of music or not. We must all collectively accept that Movement is no longer strictly techno and house (when is the last time that it was?), and be thankful for big name acts that pull people in so there’s more room to dance at other stages.
But in all seriousness, if you like EDM, Diplo is absolutely one of the best, and his experimentations in other genres are promise of an interesting set. He’s part of a genre that exists within a culture of unchecked hedonism, a fact that he embraces; he cut his teeth throwing parties like many great artists have, just with a different soundtrack than most of what will be at Movement. In all honesty, I mostly want to see if he’s actually going to play an alt-country set.
WU-TANG CLAN // 10:30pm-12:00am [MOVEMENT STAGE]
What more can be said about the Wu-Tang Clan? Their ability to combine harsh reality with hyperbolic storytelling, along with their collective abilities in pretty much every facet of hip hop, have elevated the group to mythical status. There’s no modern-day hip hop artist that could deny their influence, however indirect, and if they did they’d be lying.
It’s really quite simple: if you’ve never seen the group perform before, and you’re a fan of the genre that they’ve championed for so long, missing the set would be heresy. If you’re hesitant about their inclusion, citing them as an example of Movement’s deviation from the music that made Hart Plaza a musical destination in the first place, you’re not wrong. But at the same time you must ask yourself, if you had the chance to have Wu-Tang Clan to perform at your festival, would you?
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