As darkness descended upon Detroit’s Hart Plaza on the first night of Movement 2012, few people at The Red bull Music Academy Stage noticed the shift to twilight.
By 8:30 p.m., when legendary drum and bass DJ, Photek took the stage, fans at the riverside stage had been moving continuously to electronic beats for nearly eight sweaty Detroit summer hours.
But they were not allowed to waiver.
Thrusting from the stage for an hour-long set, Photek’s blend of classic drum and bass and jungle beats were augmented heavily by the distinct modern influences of hip hop and dub step. The resulting, party-friendly performance drove the audience to the brink of euphoric, electronic insanity.
A seemingly younger crowd than most of day one’s congregations, these were the bystanders to Photek’s contemporary voyage into techno’s roots.
The eclecticism of the turntable and sampler and a library of beats only built upon by recent additions to the world of electronica were all put on display while kids flew through the riotous air high atop the hands of their peers.
As various MCs joined the DJ onstage, it became clear that Photek’s goal was to go further than unifying the roots and modern incarnations of techno, but to step further to cross-over into hip-hop revealing the often overlooked marriage of the two genres: “turntablism.”
And the vocal accompaniment only added to the adrenaline. Youngsters simply began to bounce tightly in place. Unable to move any distance in the dense crowd and unwilling or perhaps unable as well to cease in their physical response to the rhythms before them, many fans simply clung to one another for support, the more desperate for stimulation simply climbed atop one another looking for another ride on the gathered sea of humanity.
At any one time there were multiple ecstatic crowd-goers hoisted into the air by their peers to ride atop fleshy and undoubtedly clammy hands in the synthetically musical atmosphere crafted by Photek.
The veteran and celebrated purveyor of multiple renowned remixes and ambient soundtracks, since his debut in 1992, Photek proved to enthusiasts at Movement 2012 that his presence in the world of electronic music if far from over the hill.
Photek’s pop sensibility and inherent capacity to reach masses of dance fans who for decades have wished only to endlessly move to his beats was undoubtedly strengthened that night in Detroit.