10 artists not to miss at Movement 2019
Words by Anthony Manganiello and Jessica Mao
Another installment of Detroit’s beloved three-day event brings forth Movement Festival’s ever-expanding roster in its most diverse coverage to date. Spanning city pioneers from Carl Craig, MK, Stacey Pullen to relatively mainstream DJs like Fisher, GRiZ, Disclosure, and a plethora of underground, the 2019 lineup has no shortage of techno and house talent from the powerhouses to emerging. Marking its 21st year in the running, Movement has transformed from its roots as a celebratory ode to the birthplace of techno to an amalgamation of the finest electronic acts currently energizing the scene. Year after year, a growing number of attendees make the pilgrimage to hear and see for themselves both the pillars of artistry living in Detroit and the culmination of culture, history and legendary music—all that reside in none other than the soul and essence of Movement.
Thirty years of on-and-off regrouping has not stopped iconic English band Orbital from simultaneously creating awe-inspiring techno and captivating crowds internationally with their live performances. Standing alongside The Chemical Brothers and The Prodigy as some of the most influential electronic acts of the past decades, Orbital latest reunion brought their ninth studio album Monsters Exist and a reignited spark for dance music. Now, Orbital makes their highly anticipated debut performance at Movement 2019.
Armed with an early penchant for techno and a bleeding passion for the DJ art, ANNA has come a long way from her quaint beginnings in São Paulo municipality Amparo as the daughter of a club owner. Although spinning for the entirety of her professional career, her foray into production saw its trial-and-error phases right until her 2018 release “Hidden Beauties” hit the techno world with a magnitude that kept the track at no.1 on Beatport’s techno charts for four months. All eyes are on ANNA as she continues to capitalize on her rising momentum. Don’t miss the opportunity to witness an electrifying set by one of the biggest emerging acts yet.
When it comes to playing a crowd, DJ Nobu listens to nobody. Rooted in punk and hardcore but masterful in his command of diverse genres, the Chiba-born DJ has infected dance floors with his precise curation of eclectic tracks, disrupting the underground scene in places like Tokyo, Berlin and Movement’s home city—Detroit. Unconventionality is DJ Nobu’s brand, and it repeatedly draws in listeners who yearn to hear his hypnotic style of storytelling. The Future Terror parties founder will grace the Sunday lineup at Movement’s Underground Stage.
As undefined as the lines of identity within her Korean-American culture are equal to that of her floating blend of hip-hop, dream pop and house, Brooklyn-based producer Yaeji has established herself as a contender for one of the most distinct music voices in the past few years. Her second EP, EP2, quickly won her the spotlight with a mellow rendition of Drake’s “Passionfruit” and fan-favorite “Raingurl,” highlighting her forté of producing lush beats in conjunction with performing a signature whisper-rap mix of Korean and English. Groovy yet dream-inducing, Yaeji’s sound reflects the expansion of Movement in programming ever-experimental territories of house.
Undeniably one of the most prolific hip-hop producers of the past decades, Madlib will top off Movement day three in a long-awaited return. With a discography so extensive that it easily risks drowning the common man, Madlib and his work span the mainstream appeal of albums like The Life of Pablo to the rarities of exclusive releases, underground artists, and high-profile collaborations under pseudonyms Madvillian and Jaylib. An aficionado of jazz, expert sampler, and decades of experience condensed into the musical prowess of one man, Madlib will not disappoint.
There are a few names in Detroit techno that all enthusiasts know and Robert Hood is one of them. Working closely with Jeff Mills in the creation of Underground Resistance (and possibly minimal techno as a whole), Hood has a penchant for collaborations and side projects. Perhaps his most intriguing is Floorplan, the soulful, disco-leaning project started with his daughter, Lyric Hood. With two generations of techno playing together on one stage, Floorplan is a must-see set this Memorial Day weekend.
A duo of house-music heavyweights, Get Real fuses the Green Velvet’s techy sound with Claude VonStroke’s wonky style. With just two songs under the Get Real name, this set is sure to bring out the funkiest Dirtybird tracks, Detroit techno classics, and deep cuts from Green Velvet’s 20-plus years in the industry. With Detroit repping a strong Dirtybird fanbase, this set is sure to be a full-on party.
Shigeto is one of the most exciting names to come out of Detroit in the past 10 years. A Ghostly signee, his dabbling in textured downtempo work garnered attention before his dance-oriented album, The New Monday. From his live band performances to his no-nonsense DJ sets, Shigeto has become a mainstay of Movement. Continuing to dive deeper into techno in his own work and with his label, Portage Garage Sounds, Shigeto’s developmental trajectory has been fascinating to watch.
For those who don’t know Reggie Watts, the idea of James Corden’s band leader playing Movement might seem out of place. However, Watts’ fascination with analog gear and looping technology fits quite well with the live house and techno acts that populate the Movement lineup. Teaming up with Austrian producer John Tejada, the duo have been making waves with just a few performances of their live show, featuring vocals from Watts and live programming from both.
Coming in from New York City, Justin Cudmore is truly Brooklyn’s master of acid and funky techno. A mainstay at The Bunker parties, which take over Brooklyn’s darkest nightclubs, Justin Cudmore is returning to his Midwestern roots with his second Movement performance. Cudmore’s set will provide the opportunity to hear the best of both New York and the Midwest from some of the most intriguing emerging talent on the lineup.
Tickets for Movement Festival are available for purchase online.
Featured image credit: Stephen Bondio