Tag Archives: Carl Craig

All Tomorrow’s Parties

Note: this post has been moved above the two below it, in order to preserve chronology – originally posted yesterday. You may want to read those for the full story. I’m trying to recap in order (and what I remember – thank goodness for this little line-up card):



The Fall were really good. Never seen them live. Not a ton for me to say really. Just good rock ‘n roll.

Public Enemy was fantastic. Haven’t lost a step, and *everyone* was getting down. You could tell they were having a great time, and it was really infectious.

Guy Called Gerald and C2 – remember liking both a lot and dancing a ton, but can’t recall any specifics really. I think Gerald played a lot of house, but my memory is quite sketchy at this point. Carl Craig was good, but as with the last time I saw him, and on The Workout, I wish he would mix more aggressively. My favorite sets from him are always more active.

Missed Baby Ford and Gescom- ran out of steam around 3:00 after being up since 7:30. Will see Baby Ford on Wednesday and Gescom on Saturday though,

so no urgency.

Saturday (AKA the day when darkness reigned and time lost meaning)


Note: the venue upstairs was nearly pitch black in the middle of the day. This was severely disorienting. Recall finding out it was 7:30 pm, thinking it was 2:00 am…

Checked Disjecta for about 15 minutes (he = Mark Clifford, once of Seefeel). He was basically just improvising on a guitar with crazy effects. It was really cool, but did my head in a bit after about 15 minutes.

El-P and Murs – damn fine rather political hip hop. El-P had a nice 15 minute turntablism intro as well. Good stuff!

Kool Keith and Kutmaster Kurt – really, really dissapointing. Utter crap. What has happened to Dr. Doom???

Bola (apparently didn’t show) but the visuals while they played some of his music (I think) were mind-blowing. Someone else may be able to fill in gaps about this.

[things get very very blurry]

Aphex Twin – WOW!!! Played about an hour of 110bpmish-techno-industrial-signature-aphex-god-knows-what that sounded like nothing I’ve ever heard before. I believe most of this was live. Concluded with an hour of drum ‘n bass – lots of ragga included. Wicked.

Skam DJs. Lots of fun. Degraded into making out with some woman on the dancefloor. VERY obnoxious. Apologies to anyone who witnessed.

In bed at a healthy 7:30am.



Arrive about 1/2-way through Stasis. Playing nice house rather poorly. Strictly Kev is a no-show (or maybe showed up about 10 minutes b4 the end of his set???) Stasis played lots of hip hop. Never heard so much ‘Stakes is High’ in one weekend. This is good.

Checked Jim O’Rourke for about 15 minutes. Nice pure ambience (i.e. no discernable beat). Not suiting my mood. Head back for more Stasis/Kev/Whatever.

Graham Massey – appears on stage with enormous wire-lantern-bulbous-head-thing. I leave immediately.

Coil (probably my most anticipated show) – really long set-up process (like 45 minutes). Really weird experimental vocally stuff with 3 Nords?!? Cool

stuff. Not right for the moment. Run downstaris for…

LFO (Mark Bell) DJ set. Had no idea what to expect from this. It probably wound up as my favorite set of the festival. Tons of techno classics mixed absolutely flawlessly (using Traktor + 1 CD player it looked like). I suspect he was cueing up two instances of the same track in Traktor and rocking doubles with it. Was really really effective. His mixing was seriously amazing. He finished with what were surely three new LFO tracks – and I can promise you, the wait has been worth it. He’s gone off the IDM deep-end, but the result is pretty stunning, and really complex. I can’t wait.

Shake’s set was not his finest – seemed to be having an off night, although he and the crowd both seemed to enjoy it quite a bit despite the mixing troubles. It got much better as it went on, but the first 1/2 of the set was pretty messy. We all have these nights though…

G-Man: played for about 20 minutes of his live set and some assbag pulled the fire alarm (or maybe it was a real fire???) – no one seemed to know for sure. Retreated to chalet.

Returned just in time for the beginning of Mark Broom. I danced non-stop. Always an excellent DJ – throwing in just enough bangers and just enough depth to keep it constantly interesting. It is true that we are spoiled for choice in London.

Surgeon: Holy crap! This was a proper Final Scratch workout. It wasn’t the best DJ set I’ve ever seen, but I’ve never seen another set like it. He went everywhere seamlessly, and directed the pace with a mastery that’s only been equalled, not surpassed.

Drexciyan DJ Stingray was tight, but hearing tracks like M4 and M5 played at 45 ruins them for me. The whole set was really really ghetto tech fast, but slowed a bit towards the end. It was a bit too much for me after 2 and a half days of non-stop movement and throbbing bass. Needless to say, Venetian Snares after him were equally lethal. I lasted about 10 minutes of their set before running in fear, clinging for sanity. And that about sums it up… in short the top three sets were:



Aphex Twin

In sum: WAY too much air hockey, blood, saliva, sweat (almost forgot about the sweat), beer, gin and amazing music for one weekend. Not nearly enough food. Can’t wait for next year when all the previous curators do one day each! This was a festival of DEMF magnitude and intensity, enhanced further by the ever-outrageous London techno massive.

DEMF 2002

I can’t say I really felt the vibe I came to Detroit for this year @ the festival proper, but I don’t think that had much to do with festival execution. Much like last year, it was hard to find the right place for your mood. I had some issues with the schedule/stages, like Dave Clarke in an absurdly filled underground stage Sunday night, Stewart Walker and Green Velvet on so early but these are ultimately subjective things. There were a lot of things I chose not to see b/c the crowd issues were unpleasant. I spent close to an hour trying to get from MGD -> CPOP -> Underground during P-Funk. You can’t blame the organizers for that, but it’s a vibe killer. If I have any beef with the organization, it’s that the only way you can see what you want for big names is to get to a stage early, and then you need to sit through a 5-minute loop of loud commercials. I understand the funding needs to come from somewhere, but this was a bit too much. The DJ Supply room was a salvation at times. Keith Worthy played a really nice set from 9-10 Sunday during the middle of that chaos. There were only 5 people in there when I showed up and about 100 when I left. I’m not trying to take a dump on the festival, it just didn’t leave me feeling any of the intensity I felt at the parties, and the logistics of seeing what you want can get messy. I still enjoyed a good deal of my time there though.

So… I found myself seeking out parties this year, not so much because of specific acts, but b/c I thought I would enjoy myself most at those events. Maybe that seems obvious or meaningless, but it helped me guide my choices. Thursday night’s Techno Karaoke party was fun, even though we arrived late. Derrick Plaslaiko should never be given a microphone. 🙂 Dykehouse did a really nice Robert Plant impression for a minute too. It was nice to see lots of locals out for a party designed for fun. Good stuff.

Friday night was spent @ Dennis’ list party – a great chance to touch base with lots of 313ers before the weekend kicked into high gear. From there I headed to Chamillian Cafe for TP, who was in top form. I got there as he started – he captivated me throughout. Great vibe, small venue, nothing but heads in the place. Pure entertainment at its finest, with TP at his most crowd-interactive. I love seeing him in really small places for that reason. It’s just a great party.

Saturday night I checked out the OMOA Music shindig for about an hour and a half. I think this label is really gonna turn some heads. Szymanski played a brilliant broken beat set, including his new track (mmm…). Their slogan, “Good for Party”, pretty much summed it up. After that I headed to Cannonball Run for Traxx, Derek Plaslaiko, Carlos Souffront, BMG and others. They played an awful lot of ’80s tracks. Yussel et al did a great job with this event. Derek in particular made my night, doing his aggressive, no-cueing mixes for a while. He can produce so much energy when he goes at it uninhibited like that. It was a pretty stark contrast with his DJ Supply set Monday night, which was tight as hell, with some amazing glitchy tracks I’ve never heard, but not quite so energetic. He’s got to be one of the most talented and diverse DJs in Detroit.

Sunday night I was a bit fed up with fighting crowds so I headed to the Planet E party early. Rob’s set was really subtle and beautiful. I thought Carl Craig pulled out all the stops. I’ve always loved his DJing, with some *mild* reservations about his ability to capitalize on the power of mixing compared to someone like DJ Bone (not to say he isn’t usually very tight). Sunday he went-off on the decks like I’ve never heard him do. I think my entire body convulsed in one 5-minute spasm when he dropped Fix Flash. Todd Sines’ new material is really going to make a mark. He’s found a warmer sound than the colder, Monolake-esque style he played last year (not that I didn’t love that set too). The Mark Ernestus dub set was really tasty too. Unfortunately the fuel tank was empty at that point. This was all I could have expected from such a brilliant lineup. No one disappointed. Oh – and Mike Clark played a new DNH track that reminds me a lot of “deep burnt”, but expanding on that idea. I think it was called “Trackhead” – I presume it’s Nick Holder. It was a white label, so I think it might be forthcoming. Keep your eyes peeled.

Monday night was spent @ The Works. I think I checked out the main room for all of 10 minutes all night. I’m pretty sure it was D Wynn playing early in the front. He was really on, playing some uptempo house flawlessly. This really set the mood for Ron Trent, who dropped at least 4 hours of deeeeeeep house. This set really moved me. I’ve never danced that much in my life. Otto didn’t leave the dancefloor for more than 10 seconds of his entire set. I thought when I saw him in DC last Fall, it was one of those Detroit-esque moments that never happen here, that I would likely never see Ron Trent reproduce. Somehow, he surpassed it twelve-fold. This was the best set of the festival for me, only closely matched by Radio Boy. If anyone knows what the building, dueling pianos track was that he played twice about 3 hours apart, I will be forever indebted. He was playing it from track 3 on a CD, and I couldn’t bring myself to interrupt him to find out. The art of deep house mixing is often so much about laying out the tracks in a great order and making the set move conceptually. He wrote the textbook on that last night.

No matter what happens to the festival going forward, parties like these convey what the Detroit scene is capable of that can’t be found elsewhere. I had a really fabulous time. I <3 Detroit.