Sunday, May 23, 2010

Resident Advisor on the DEMF

Resident Advisor has some essential reading on Detroit's Electronic Music Festival/Movement and its ten-year history. It's an oral history, composed only of quotes, and therefore doesn't always flow as well it should, but it's very interesting to see all the changes the festival has gone through.

I liked the quotes from the guys saying it was the first time their parents got to see them play.

Phil Talbert: A number of kids who were into electronic music brought their parents down to the festival, and showed them that it wasn't just this underground rave thing.

Norm Talley (DJ/producer): A lot of people from the city came out that normally may not come to the club at night. People like my family, people from down the street, it was personal.

Eddie Fowlkes (DJ/producer): The fact that the festival was free was important. I put out my first record when Public Enemy was coming out, and then these people were seeing me playing at this party, this Detroit apex, that many years later. My uncles, my aunts had never seen me perform before.

Mike Grant (DJ/producer): The first time that I played at the festival was the first time that my mother had ever seen me play.

Carl, Derrick, Richie Hawtin at DEMF 2000

Carl Craig, Derrick May and Richie Hawtin: Three techno legends at the inaugural edition of the DEMF.

Dan Sordyl (Managing Owner, Motor nightclub): None of these guys had ever performed in their hometown in front of more than maybe a thousand people. Finally, they got the respect that the rest of the world had been showing them for years.

DJ 3000: You kind of felt like it was an award ceremony. People were DJing, and grabbing the microphone and saying "I want to say hi to my mom and my dad." They were thanking people, because they felt like they were finally being recognized.

Mike Clark (DJ/producer): I was walking through Hockeytown to Cobo Hall, and I heard a soft constant beat in the air. As I got closer to the festival, the sound formed into Pepe Bradock's "Deep Burnt." That's when the reality kicked in. As I was going through the tunnel to Hart Plaza someone writing about the festival walked up to me and asked, "How did I feel about it?" While trying to hold back the tears, I said to him, "Listen! Can you hear it? This is one of my favorite records and I heard it a mile away! In my own city! It's one of the greatest moments in my life!"