It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Despite a weather forecast that called for nothing but sun all weekend as recently as Sunday morning, we found ourselves among the spitting rain as the final day of Movement began. While it ebbed and flowed throughout the day, the rain was more or less non-stop through it all. While some festival goers were a bit apprehensive at first, hiding under awnings and overcrowding the covered Underground stage, by mid-afternoon, most people decided to just let it ride.
The final day was a good one, with sets from Kidnap Kid, Dabrye, Nicolas Jaar, Azari & III and my homeboy Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs all taking the stage. While there is a certain vibe about the festival that gets lost in the rain, it didn’t stop us from making the final day a great one. In fact, it may have ended up being my favorite day of the weekend in some weird, twisted way thanks to the blend of artists that played. Check out some pics from the final day below. Just another 362 days until we get to do it all again!
Day 2 of a 3 day music festival is like the Jan Brady of the weekend. You don’t quite have the excitement of the first day or the last day, but it still ends up being pretty great in the end. My day 2 got off to a bit of a late start due to a car that was going to explode without an oil change, and a trip to the camera shop to take care of my day 1 camera mishaps, but I did make it there just in time to catch Adult. which was my main goal anyway.
Highlights of day 2 include the aforementioned Adult. (pretty nuts seeing them on that huge stage after last seeing them at the MOCAD), Audion, Stacey Pullen TWICE (both in the Boilerroom and during his main set), and of course Squarepusher’s futuristic audio/visual experience. This photo set is pretty heavy on the Squarepusher shots because I just couldn’t decide. Would be dope to see a proper Squarepusher show if he ever comes around.
Day 3 is going to have to end a little early for me due to some prior obligations, but we’re going to get there early to capture as much as we can, and will be dancing our tushes off during my bb Totally Enormous Extinct Dinosaurs’ set on the main stage. Been waiting all weekend for that one. Enjoy some shots (and a video!) below in the meantime.
It’s the happiest time of the year once again. The Detroit Movement Electronic Music Festival (better known colloquially as DEMF) is upon us once again to officially kick off summer. And just as we have the past few years, we’re bringing you all (er….some) of the action in picture form. Thanks to our clumsy photographer (read:me) and an unzipped camera bag, we almost lost our gear to a several foot fall. Luckily we made it out with just a cracked lens filter and a minor heart attack, and our trip to the camera shop for a new filter left us with a brand new body, so we might even get to bring you some video of the sights and sounds if we figure this thing out in time.
A few things changed this year, with the Red Bull stage moving front and center as the main stage, the Beatport stage moving to Red Bull’s former home by the pyramid, and the Electric Forest stage in the spot of the former Beatport stage. New to the fest this year, the Electric Forest stage seems to be the de facto replacement for some of the acts at the former Red Bull stage. In other words, if you’re looking for your huge drops and the craziest people at the fest, that’s the place to be. The other interesting thing to note is that people love getting their picture taken, and will ask anyone with a camera to take it, and we’re totally OK with it.
Some of our day 1 highlights were Shigeto, Onra, Moby, Nina Kraviz and Terrence Parker. Can’t wait to see what day 2 holds in store.
Even though we sorta don’t blog these days, there are still a few things we love to do which is why we keep this site around. One of those things is our series of live music picture posts (next edition coming soon!), and another is our annual blog-curated Blogwave Summer mixtape, which we like to think officially kicks off summer. This is our FOURTH edition, in celebration of what would have been our fourth anniversary had we not sorta quit the game, and it’s really hard to believe this has been going on for so long.
This mixtape wouldn’t be possible without all the stellar blogs who contribute year after year, and for that, we thank all of you. Your musical tastes are well represented in this 20 song mix, and I like you all as IRL people, too (and have even gotten to IRL hang with the majority of you, which is pretty awesome indeed). It’s really the other blogs that make this what it is, and I essentially am just here to sequence the songs as best I can. So since these sites ARE actual blogs, all you readers should check out their sites.
Fine print: Tracklisting is below, with the blog who picked the track hyperlinked next to the song titles. The entire mix is available to download from Soundcloud, and don’t post a comment asking for individual tracks. Because then it wouldn’t a mix! Also, shoutout to my friend Ahed, whose photograph from a recent tropical vacation makes the artwork for this year’s mix. We hope you enjoy listening to this as much as we enjoyed making it. And here’s to another summer of awesome.
To the tune of “The Real World”
This is the true story of 20 bloggers picked to live on the internet and have their lives live tweeted to find out what happens when people stop reading the comments and start making a mixtape. A Blogwave Summer Mixtape. Volume Four.
So real that when two blogs pick Autre Ne Veut songs, we use them BOTH.
Thank you, Edinburgh, for deciding to claim producer DFRNT as your own, and having him give birth to the marvel that is Cut Records, a netlabel founded in September 2011 by the Scottish producer as a sort of cherry-on-the-sundae of his line of work. My body ached with bass poisoned by mediocre dubstep and progressive post-ambient hipster juice the glorious day I stumbled upon Cut and had the happy coincidence of sampling Rain Dog first. It has since been months, and today is the first day I can attempt to verbalize the loss of words that is “Beyond Their Years.” I would be lying if I said the opening spoken sample didn’t make me feel like Sean Astin was about to pump his asthma inhaler and say “Chester Copperpot.” Yet I quickly realized the two seconds that followed it were like a man waiting to take a bullet. Two silent inhalations before the nuclear bomb implosion of the first bass drop. As the track’s bass missiles progress, the body continues to numb its limbs out to utter magic. Rather than incinerate our tired, un-impressed ears, the bass turns our blood into a sort of tar-like thick river, and the soft, supple piano riff eases itself in like a local anesthetic. We are physically rewinding as we play this piece, “Return to Innocence” music video style. The little-known Rain Dog tears complicated bass and harmony to shreds and strips it of any element that’s too elaborate to be organic. Once life gives you breath after those 4 minutes and 16 seconds, bask in the glory of downloading Rain Dog’s EP, and EVERYTHING on Cut Records, absolutely free. Make sure to look into DFRNT’s music and written work too. In the end, I guess I have to re-thank Edinburgh for giving me my faith in life back, period.
Editor’s note: Thanks to our guest poster Christine, clearly far better with words than I, for this post
April, you cruel temptress. In last month’s digest, I complained about March’s unseasonably cool weather, but looked forward to the bright future that April promised, only to be crushed once again with temperatures reaching freezing, and actual snow flakes falling from the sky on the luckiest 13th day of April, following a week of nonstop rain, wind, clouds and complete and other gray, followed by more actual snowflakes on April 20 and 24. [Update: Its now May 2 and it's been glorious for a week.] For a winter that also started unseasonably early this year, it’s safe to say that most of the Midwest is on the precipice of losing its collective mind. The people at Coachella complaining that it’s too hot aren’t really helping matters either.
A few things can help cure those mid April winter blues, if you are unfortunate enough to be experiencing them like myself. One of those things is getting to see Disclosure in your very own city. Besides them playing a bunch of new songs from their upcoming album, they talked a bit about how excited they were to be in a city that inspired them so much, and you could tell they meant it. We danced our heads off and all was good.
Another thing that can help is when you’re at home on a Saturday night on a day when you’ve taking 3 multi-hundred question practice exams for a weird certification that you aren’t quite sure why you’re getting, and you find out that Jai Paul has randomly posted a stream of his debut album on his Bandcamp page. I’d heard this was a possibility a while back nothing since, so figured it was just a weird rumor. But then that turned out to be stolen and not really real, even though it was definitely Jai Paul. Just not his actual debut album, which may or may not be an actual thing that exists. In an effort to drown our collective sorrows, it’s important that we set a few minutes aside to listen to “Jasmine” and imagine the day when a real life Jai Paul album might become more than a lucid dream. I think it’s what the world needs right now. You should also go here to listen to the non-embeddable “BTSTU” if you need more convincing.
And since this post has featured young British lads exclusively thus far, let’s keep it going so I can talk about my current obsession with James Blake’s Overgrown. It started with me listening to “Retrograde”, a song I praised in February and forgot about until last week, on repeat for approximately 5 days, finally segueing into the entire album on repeat. It feels like the perfect marriage of his pre-album EPs and the singer songwriter minimal vibe of his first album, and it all works together so naturally. Album opener “Overgrown” is a great example of this. But dang, there are some really fantastic songs on this album. And he’s got quite the soulful voice that makes you feel feelings. And RZA is even on this album and it feels natural and perfect. And the silver lining of my recently cancelled trip to San Francisco is that I will now be in town for what I have to imagine is Mr. Blake’s first appearance in Detroit. It’s a rare and beautiful thing when an artist plays in your town at the very height of your obsession with that artist.
Here’s that RZA collab.
Before we step just outside of the UK, let’s just acknowledge the wonderful fact that Gold Panda is releasing a new album, and then let’s listen to our first taste of the album in “Brazil”. Mad love for the sounds Golda Panda makes.
Let’s move one nation to the west and talk some more about our Irish friends Solar Bears who’ve recently put out their latest album Supermigration. It’s brimming with sounds from times gone by, though they feel quite refreshing in this context, and that’s what these guys do so very well. I’ve been having a tough time trying to describe the wonderful sounds that make up the album, except to note that they are certainly otherworldy and not like much else you’ve heard as of late. Check out the album below, and throw these guys some of your hard earned cash because they certainly deserve it. And if you want to catch them live in action, check out their wonderful Boiler Room set from a while back.
So far, it’s clear that the greater UK area (hope the Irish don’t hate me for that one) are winning music right now. But we can still move outside of that geographical zone, if it pleases the court, and move towards some New England/Chilean vibes via this Nicolas Jaar remix of Grizzly Bear bb’s “Sleeping Ute”. It’s super abstract and minimal for legit 3 minutes, and then this song becomes more Nico Jaar than you thought was possible based on the original. And that’s what makes a remix so special. Something you know and love totally re-imagined as something completely its own. I’ll be seeing both of these acts for the first (proper) time this summer, with Jaar playing the main stage at Movement this year, and Grizzly Bear bbs playing shows in Detroit and a late summer Friday Grand Rapids gig that I just might try to hit up, too. Enjoy the next 7+ minutes of eerie beats.
It’s now the month of May, and besides DEMF (er, Movement Electronic Music Festival) right here in Detroit which officially kicks off summer, there is another certain May tradition that just might make another appearance this year….
Even though it’s technically April 2, it still feels like early February in what continues to be the longest winter on record. Can someone please file a frivolous lawsuit against that liar of a groundhog? To further add salt to the wounds of this never ending winter, I’ve recently sunburned the scheisse out of my face and my forehead is currently in the process of molting in the grossest way imagineable. But I guess it’s a great pre-summer reminder not to make such an avoidable mistake again when it really matters.
And how did I get a sunburn, you ask? Well, I returned to the annual South By Southwest Interactive, Music, and Film Conference held in Austin, TX each year since the beginning of time. It’s also referred to as sx. Whichever’s easier. It’s one of those things that’s really fun for a day, and after that I usually kind of just want to go back to my normal life. Incomprehensible amounts of walking, standing, dancing, eating, drankin, otherin’, and I’m just not good at marathon events. I like 1-2 days of extremity followed by another 1-2-3-4 of laying by the pool. Or at least taking like 2-3 hours off per day from the longest concert in the world.
But for real, like I’ve said before, I go strictly for the hangs, since all of my internet friends are there. It’s like a national twitter convention or something, and our circle is so huge that you pretty much always have 2 or 3 or more people you know at any given show you go to, and that’s kinda rad. Just don’t think the body can handle it anymore, though, after legit almost passing out/fainting the last night and missing Solange. Maybe/Probably I’m just a wuss. Anyway, I’ll probs go to CMJ because if you are going crazy, you can just be like, “Oh, I’m in New York. I’ll just relax and go to a museum and buy more trainers and eat a delicious meal or two and pretend CMJ isn’t going on” and then you feel better about it all.
It’s all a bit of a blur, but shoutout to the Motown Lowdown showcase and all the folks who put it on. It was a nice little slice of Detroit in Austin and I got to see so many of the local acts that I hear about all the time but have never seen myself. Shoutouts to Flashclash, Phantasmagoria, Jamaican Queens and Passalacqua (all of whom I caught at the show) and to the free McClure’s Bloody Mary’s, even though they did give me the heartburn of death due to my complete lack of water consumption since arriving in Austin the day before.
Other cool acts I saw were Disclosure (way lived up to the hype), Autre Ne Veut, Beacon (one of the Ghostly artists I have yet to explore), Royal Bangs, and Cashmere Cat, off the top of my head. Cashmere Cat set at Live for the Funk showcase might have been my favorite “vibe” of the week. Slick beats in a packed empty salon/spa with the sun shining bright. Super weird and contradictory, but it totally worked. Check out one of his new remixes which I think may have premiered at that show, as well as the entirety of his latest EP, AND a new track from new faves Beacon. It’s some slick stuff.
Since I’m still exhausted from the aforementioned days and days of standing weeks later, and haven’t paid attention to any other music this month, that’s a wrap for March. I’ll try harder next time, I promise.
It’s February! Which means it’s almost March. Which means it’s almost the official end of winter. Which means it’s almost the official start of Spring. Which means SXSW is really soon. Which means I get to hang out with all of my internet friends really soon at SXSW. Which means I will actually be warm for the first time since October in 2 weeks in Austin. Which means I’ll probably be sick in 3 weeks. But by then it will almost be April, and life will not be so gray and cold pretty soon. In the meantime, here are some noteworthy things related to music that I happened to catch this month and that I would like you to catch.
I’m going to start by talking about Lusine’s new album The Waiting Room and I can’t stop gushing about it. I think it’s the Ghostly album I’ve been waiting for without even knowing it (though I typically love most Ghostly albums). The standout track for me is definitely “Stratus” which sounds like a revelation and/or a really hard math test, in a good way, though. It just grows and morphs and makes me ears rejoice. This rest of the album is also pretty stellar, and if you’re into that Ghostly sound, it is a necessity.
Next up is a totally effing beautiful video from Florida’s Hundred Waters who I was first exposed to at last fall’s CMJ, where I was surprisingly good at staying up late and came out of those 5 nights with only one brutal hangover. Anyway, “Boreal” might be one of my favorite Hundred Waters tracks, and I now like it even more that I get to think about this whenever I listen to it. It starts out quite strangely, but boy does it finish up with an unexpected bang. The video takes a quite unexpected turn somewhere in the middle and it’s really pretty visually stunning when it happens.
It’s somewhat impossible to reflect upon music in the month of February without mentioning James Blake. Mostly because I kinda <3 most of his works, and he is coming to Detroit in May. He was one of those UK lads who I for some reason never thought would stop in our ever so humble town. He's also putting out a new album this Spring-ish and has released the first track in video form. When that chorus kicks in, I can't help but think, "That's rich." Can't wait to hear the rest of this album if it's all as good as this.
I should probably just start a monthly column called “MØ of the month” or something since I’ve posted one of her tracks nearly every month since first seeing her last fall. This one is a remix of “Pilgrim” by MS MR and it’s sort of an 90s R&B take on the normally extremely upbeat track, with vocals front and center. But it totally works and is a strong indicator that MØ is kinda awesome.
While we’re on the topic of understated excellence in remix form, let’s take a listen to this Ryan Hemsworth remix of Rhye’s “Open”. I just got to see Mr. Hemsworth perform last Saturday here in town and he can really throw down a set that can get all the kids going. This remix really shows his versatility and the fact that he can go hard or soft with the same impact. Hoping to catch that bro again in Austin for some happy dance times.
Now time for some VERY exciting news. Namely that dailybeatz up and coming favorites Keep Shelly in Athens have recently signed with Cascine, one of our favoritest labels in all of the land. It’s really a perfect and natural fit for both artist and label, but it’s still pretty exciting. They’ll be releasing their debut full length album this fall and have given us a sneak peak at a new track in “Madmen Love”. It’s got a bit of a different feel at first, almost as if something is off, but then it comes together quite nicely in the end, in a pretty big way.
Let’s close things out on an abnormally energetic note with this Hudson Mohawke remix of Disclosure’s “White Noise” featuring AlunaGeorge. After thinking I would never see Disclosure ever, I will get to see them at least twice in the next month and a half, and that rules. This remix is kind of fantastic. Like when that 1:30 mark hits, just watch out. Enjoy, and seeya next month for more good music and horrible commentary like this.