I’m still a little overwhelmed and exhausted, and I need to write it up for Little Village so I won’t go long-winded here… but
I hadn’t been to the festival since 2006 and it was great to be back. I saw a ton of people I only see in Detroit, and got to have some quality chat time with Sean Deason, Otto Koppius, Ian Malbon, LInda Gee, Fred Huette, Todd Sines, Andy Stone, Shawn Rudiman, Mike Huckaby, Boo Williams, etc. Met some nice people from Berlin and Tokyo. Had stellar barbacue at Slows.
Musical high points — well, I was pretty choosy about where I went, and made sure to get away from the constant din. But I loved Omar S playing on the rooftop Sunday Afternoon, Osunlade on main stage, Carl Craig, Derrick May, Los Hermanos, Flying Lotus, Wignomie Brothers. In one weekend I was able to see Derrick, Juan, Kevin, and Carl, which is a sort of techno hat trick. Of course Juan Atkins is as always kind of weak as a DJ but it’s nice to see the originators still at it. Derrick May’s festival closing set was top drawer IMO. Very dynamic, with a lot of new tracks, and he avoided the whole ‘gotta play “Strings Of Life”‘ thing, but did play one insanely great track with teasing string stabs that NO ONE I talked to could ID.
Low point — the sound at the made in detroit stage. I’ve heard good sound down there, when they set up on the floor at the west end of the bowl. It’s kind of a cliche now to complain about it, but seriously, the fact that it sounded great in 2001 and 2002, and like rancid ass ever since, is inexcusable.
I think their best move would be to stop using the underground area for a stage entirely because at the best of times it’s kind of an armpit, and a scary crowd control nightmare when someone popular is playing down there. They could set up two stages on either side of the pyramid and it would be great. Of course rain can be an issue, but it’s an outdoor festival — people can deal, or they can use those huge tents.
My nose is peeling and my knees hurt, but it was a pretty brilliant weekend. Pictures and video to follow.