My Trip to Detroit

When Crowdmix told me I would be heading to Detroit to rep the company at Movement Festival, I didn’t know what to expect besides techno; lots of techno. As it turns out, this city is pretty special, and I had one of the best trips of my life.

First off, big thanks to Darren Yan & Angel Gambino, my traveling companions for the duration of the trip.  It was really great getting to know both of them better.

On the day we left, I mentioned to Darren that I would swing by his place in an uber on the way to LAX around 4am.  I was an idiot and tried to sleep for about an hour at 3am, resulting in me waking up late and having to ditch the ride-share and beg a Lyft driver to do 100mph on the 405.  Made it in time, but got a middle seat on the 5 hour flight.  Would have been chill if I wasn’t 6’4.

First Destinations

The first place we were taken was called Assemble Sound, and I wish I would have taken some better photos.  I selfishly slapped them on my Snapchat story and didn’t think to save any for a recap, oops.  In any case, we took a tour of the nineteenth century church that these guys have transformed into a recording mecca and live venue.  They mentioned being home-away-from-home studio space for notable producers such as Danny Brown and Baauer, and hosted an OWSLA showcase during the Movement Festival weekend.  It’s pretty amazing how they’ve managed to keep the historical brilliance of the building and infuse it with a reinvigorated musical energy.

The images above are from the Detroit Masonic Temple.  The management of the Temple graciously took us on a 100+ room tour (the largest Masonic Temple in existence).  Again I wish I would have taken more photos, but the ones I did catch were of the main Theater, hand-carved bronze entryways, and the subterranean venue in which they held a few Movement afterparties.  Overall, it was an incredibly rewarding experience.

Festival

Gonna preface this by saying that Movement might be the best festival I’ve ever been to.  Not because the sound or the production was leaps and bounds above others, that part of the fest actually left some to be desired.  What made this the best was the lineup, the local love shown to us, the after-parties, and the whole vibe in general.

Some stand-out performances were MK on the Thump stage, John Digweed on the main stage, and Boys Noize at the underground stage.  I honestly didn’t see a bad set all weekend, but those were some that stuck with me.  There was some sound bleed across stages, but damn they packed so many into a pretty small area it wasn’t totally unexpected.

My favorite sets of the weekend hands down were at Seth Troxler’s infamous “Old Miami” party.  Yep, I waited with a friend in the blistering 7am sun to trot into the back yard of an old pub.  The craft beer was cheap, the music was pumping, and the crowd was jumping.  One of the best parties I have ever been to, hands down.  I even live streamed it on Facebook for a little bit, and I hate when people do that.  Troxler, himself, was even slapping on “Fuck Trump” wristbands at the gate — what a time.

Food

The first thing we did when we landed was poll the Twitter waters for some food recommendations.  We immediately were pointed towards Slows BBQ.  We weren’t disappointed, as it was some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had in my entire life.  We even ran into my buddy Jonah and some of the OWSLA crew, a pretty early suggestion that we’d be running into a ton of familiar faces throughout the weekend.

Later on the first night, we went to a smaller restaurant called Katoi.  From the outside, it looked like a rundown building (like much of Detroit), but inside you could mistake it for a nightclub.  Multi-colored LEDs lit up the walls, with an equally exciting bar/wait staff to greet you.  Some of the best Thai-fusion and delicious cocktails I’ve had, would definitely go back.

I had never been to White Castle before, so I had to try it.  I actually went twice in one night.  I’m really not proud of that.

Friends

Luckily, I had some really great friends by my side to share the experience with.  I wouldn’t trade my time in Detroit for anything, as it reminded my why I fell in love with music in the first place.

I’ll definitely make it a point to come back to future editions of Movement, and would really like to head back to the city for some hang time.  Detroit definitely has some rough patches, but i was more than pleasantly surprised by the environment, the people, the youthful culture, and so on.  This place is a burgeoning destination that is going to surprise a lot of people in the coming years.  Plus, it’s super techno.

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