Listen To A Mix From America's Best Electronic Music Festival

May 25, 2012
Originally published on November 16, 2014 12:17 pm

There's an awesome music festival taking place over Memorial Day weekend, featuring some of the best DJs in the world. Can you name it?

OK, so that's a trick question. There are actually two fests taking place this weekend with big-time electronic artists. In Detroit, we've got the Movement Electronic Music Festival, formerly known as the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, which for more than a decade has catered to devoted electronic music fans. Then there's the Sasquatch! Music Festival, known for its rock predilections and gorgeous locale in Washington's Columbia Valley.

Even though there's far fewer electronic acts at Sasquatch, the handful of DJs on the schedule may have as many American fans as all 100 of the Movement performers combined. Pretty Lights sits at the top of its bill, right next to Jack White, Beck and Bon Iver. The man born Derek Vincent Smith is headlining the festival's main stage on Friday night (along with Girl Talk), which makes some sense when you consider both his and Sasquatch's background. Back in 2002, the festival's first lineup was jam band central, while Smith made a name for himself playing with acts like Widespread Panic and the Disco Biscuits. His giant sound and crazy lazer show is a logical next step as the communal concert experience adapts to the available tools and technology of the 21st century.

Movement, on the other hand, is almost entirely DJs and producers who make their money spinning in dance clubs, with the exception of Sunday night headliner Public Enemy. Now celebrating its 13th year, the festival spotlights the biggest names in house, techno and their myriad sub-genres, but it might best be defined by what it (mostly) lacks: progressive house and dubstep, the two electronic sounds that fill stadiums with teenagers these days (and attract attention from Wall Street and numerous media outlets).

That isn't to say DJs at Movement are completely averse to "dropping the bass." Borders are always shifting in electronic dance music and boundaries exist to be flouted. It's just that many of the DJs heading to Detroit are more interested in subtle surprises that fit into longer narratives where rhythm trumps song and journeys matter more than drops.

There's so many different styles converging at Movement this year, we asked Detroit producer Monty Luke to give us a glimpse of what we can expect. And by we, I mean my NPR colleague Sami Yenigun, who will be attending the festival and reporting back next week. The tracklist is below.

Monty Luke's Movement Mix:

Andres, "Sha's Revenge"
Lil Louis, "Video Clash"
Carls Davis, "Sketches Pt. 3"
Benoit & Sergio, "Principles"
Claude VonStroke & Jaw, "Le Fantôme"
Nina Kraviz, "Ghetto Kraviz (Amine Edge Edit)"
Marcellus Pittman, "Chicago Nights"
Kyle Hall, "Friendly Skies"
Monty Luke, "In Love With A Dancer"
Davide Squillace, "The Other Side Of Bed"
Lil' Louis & The World, "Club Lonely (Shield Re Edit)"

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