Stacey Pullen and Bromance unite past and present on Day 2 of Movement Electronic Music Festival
For Day 2 of Movement Electronic Music Festival, Hart Plaza was filled once again with techno nerds and audiophiles from around the world ready to experience the sights and sounds of the best of underground dance music. Detroit has certainly opened its arms to us visitors — everyone from convenience store owners to cab drivers seem to understand why we’re here and heartily suppose the cause. Even those who could not themselves enter the festival scanned the exterior perimeters of the gates, moving to and enjoying the music in any way they could.
Soul Clap followed up Bill Patrick at the riverfront’s stellar-sounding Beatport Stage with an affect well suited for the mid-afternoon set. As many other DJs have done this weekend, the set was tailored for the location, with a more tech-minded set than their usual feel good funky house sound. While Art Department showed up 35 minutes late, their performance was worth the wait. The duo masterfully tailored their set to the techno-friendly crowd, plunging the sunlit Beatport Stage down the rabbit hole through a tripped-out soundscape of arpeggiated synthesizers and phased vocals over driving bass.
Boiler Room was hosting a special Movement edition in the festival’s VIP area, and we were lucky enough to venture over to catch a bit of Magda and Stacey Pullen (who were playing after Ben Sims and Daniel Bell) for a very intimate preview to both of their larger stage sets scheduled for later in the day. Richie Hawtin, usually the portrait of professionality, surprisingly missed his Boiler Room set yesterday. Definitely unfortunate for those tuned in online, but we’re gonna cut him some slack this time around.
Magda made it over to the Made in Detroit stage for another powerhouse set, including both better known hits like Todd Terje’s “Inspector Norse” and some backbreaking techno (which we didn’t think could be topped until we saw her go even harder at the Shelter in St. Andrew’s Hall at 1:30 a.m.). We are, however, going to have to give set of the evening honors to Stacey Pullen’s 9 p.m. Red Bull Music Academy stage performance. Even more so than Hawtin the night before, his DJing embodied the best of the ebb and flow of a veteran’s tech house set, infusing tension at the appropriate times, building and releasing to throw the crowd into a fury of energy in the last hour of the set.
One can always count on the Bromance Crew to close out a festival in fitting fashion. A black-suited and brooding Gesaffelstein decimated an expectant Electric Forest stage with a hard-hitting and eclectic set that treaded the blurring line between techno and electro, a growing gray area he’s proven he feels quite at home in occupying. While his set centered on the dark, dynamic, and driving sound we’ve come to anticipate from the French producer, he incorporated a few throwback techno nods to his Detroit predecessors, including a frenetic rendition of Jeff Mills’ seminal classic “The Bells.”
Brodinski kept the sinister vibe alive with an electric closing performance that showcased his peerless presence behind the decks. Similarly to his acclaimed Boiler Room performance in Berlin, the versatile artist blended a dizzying array of techno and electro for most of the show, but his love for hip-hop simply could not be contained. The crowd roared with approval as he transitioned into the bass-heavy beats, a moment that embodied the open-minded and forward-thinking atmosphere that is manifest at Movement. From Stacey Pullen’s old guard to Bromance’s new breed, all were welcome and celebrated in Motor City last night.
Photos by Andrew Potter