For an artist, doing interviews can become redundant and boring. Grammy award-winner Carl Craig decided to do things a little differently and I was invited, alongside fellow music journalists and bloggers, for a bar talk before his intimate performance at Motorcity Wine bar. Here’s how it went:

I arrived just a little before 8:45pm as requested by his publicist. Carl had gone to eat, so the time he would show up was uncertain. I went inside to see how many people would be there and was surprised to see I was the first to arrive. I figured that either the bar talk wouldn’t happen or if it was happening it might end up being a one on one kind of thing, which I wasn’t prepared for. I decided to go downstairs, drink a pint at Foran’s Grand Trunk pub to give me ideas about the type of questions I’d ask Carl.

When I came back, fifteen minutes later, Car Craig was there with three other journalists. A total of ten people would eventually show up. After the obvious questions like “What does Detroit techno mean to you?”, I asked about the release of a three cds box set that was part of the Masterpiece series from Ministry of Sound. The compilation is divided in three segments: the music he currently plays, the music that inspired him and the third, not yet released, which will be called Mediation. It’ll be a modular jam that will have isolated elements from music that Carl has done in the past, including some solos. Songs will be at least ten minutes and should put the listener in a meditative mode. He told us how he used to listen to new age music extensively and how Detroit radio used to play artists like Vangelis all the time. The current playlist will include tracks from Scuba and Huxley.

We also talked about the digital age and how it influence producer’s work. He was revealed how, for a producer, he’s tempted to compose and released songs right away for websites like ITunes and Beatport, but that he’s now focusing at bettering himself as an engineer. For example, he’s working on a Terrence Parker song and he did thirty different mixes of it to make sure he was getting the best quality possible.

Talking to him was like talking to an old friend. He didn’t hesitate to crack a joke here and there. When asked about how effectively he was protecting his ears, he said he was trying to…but in the heat of the moment, earplugs were like condoms and you tend to sometimes forget to wear them. Fortunately his ears haven’t failing him yet and we should hear a lot more from him in the years to come. Masterpiece is coming out June 24th; make sure to grab your copy!


In a couple of days, I’ll be attending my third Detroit Movement Festival, a must attend event for anybody that loves electronic music. Every time I go, I discover great things about this city that has way more to offer than abandoned buildings. Here’s a survival guide for those of you attending the festival for the first time and for those who’d like to go beyond the Hart Plaza.


One thing I’ve learned getting older is that good food is important for you. I’m no longer nineteen years old, therefore, going on a four day bender without sleeping while feeding my body with MDMA is no longer an option. Detroit has tons of great food options if you’re willing to go a little further than downtown. Here are some places you should check out if food is as important to you as music:


Slows Bar-B-Q – 2138 Michigan Ave
Eating at Slows when I’m in Detroit is mandatory for me. Their Mac-n-cheese is to die for. If you’re into southern food you should pay them a visit. While in the neighbourhood, make sure to check out Astro, a great place to get your caffeine fix.

soup menuMudgie’s -1300 Porter St
Renowned for their sandwiches, I personally have a thing for their homemade soups. One thing that’s for sure, Greg Mudge loves his customers and he will go out of his way to make sure you feel at home in his restaurant. They now have a wine and beer license for your drinking pleasure

Rodin – 15 E Kirby ST
I haven’t tried this one yet but it’s on my list for this year. I’m a sucker for French cuisine so I shouldn’t be disappointed. What better time than Friday May 24th to have a late night dinner while hearing John Collins, from the legendary UR collective, play records. The fun starts at 10pm and it goes on until 2am.

Seva – 66 E Forrest Ave
Worried that the suggestions so far are too meat oriented? Seva’s the place for you, dear vegetarian/vegan friends. A good hangover cure to give your body a break from all the toxins.

Honeybee Market –2443 Bagley Ave
Detroit Eastern Market – 2934 Russell Street
You want to save some money and make your own meals? Make sure to visit these two addresses. People travel from miles away to get Honeybee avocados. They also make their own guacamole and salsa that has nothing to do with your usual supermarket brands.

Movement is a daytime thing, going from noon until midnight. Many festival goers are looking for places to keep dancing. The after party list is overwhelming so I thought I’d let you know about my picks this year:


An Intimate Evening With Carl Craig 
Motor City Wine – 608 Woodward Ave
You want to start your festival in a smooth way. You probably just got in town and are exhausted but it would be a shame to spend your first night at the hotel. You know what they say about a marathon? Starting too strong might make you run slower at the end of the race. Same goes for a festival! On Friday you’ll either find me indulging myself with French food and techno beats (see restaurant picks above) or at Motorcity wine for an intimate night with Carl Craig.

Things get busy on Saturday and you’ll have to make heartbreaking decisions or really dig into your wallet to do some party hopping.

Deep Detroit V.5
1515 Broadway
Kai Alce is once again hosting this one of a kind event. After having guests like Omar S and Marcellus Pittman, he’s making room for the new generation and invited Kyle Hall.  The event is taking place at 1515 Broadway, a venue that is not selling alcohol. When there’s a will there’s a way and you should ask how to get to the second floor…

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Circo Loco Celebrates Arthur Russel
TV Bar, 2548 Grand River Ave
When a legendary Ibiza party makes the trek to the Midwest to celebrate a legendary musician with an impressive lineup you have no choice but check it out. Carl Craig, Lee Curtis, Rick Wilhite, Kim Ann Foxmann, D’Julz; that’s only a short list because the party is happening from 10pm until 2pm (no it’s not a mistake…it really continues until the next afternoon). Something most of us won’t remember since we’ll be too intoxicated, but fun nonetheless.

carl craig


Mecca Detroit
Dirty Jersey’s Club , 1513 Broadway
Taking place on both Saturday and Sunday, the event is definitely worth checking out on the second day. Headliners incluses DJ Assault, Los Hermanos and Eddie Fowlkes

The Ultimate Detroit/Chicago Experience
Fountain Bistro, 800 Woodward Ave
Detroit techno and Chicago house are two music genders not too far from each other. It makes perfect sense to invite legendary artists from both cities to perform together. Glenn Underground, Boo Williams, Rick Wilhite and many more will make you dance all night.

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Direct Contact 2.0
North End Studios, 5101 Loraine Street
A little self promotion here since I was invited to play this party. But seriously, I wouldn’t recommend you check it out because I’m there but rather to catch some seriously great musicians like MGUN and Deastro.

North End Studios is part of why Detroit has become so special. It’s a business working to participate, establish and exist in the creative and DIY communities of Detroit, with a focus on contributing to the empowerment of the current and future generations of artists and entrepreneurs through providing studio space, mentorship and exhbition opportunities.

No way back
1515 Broadway
Legendary NYC parties are once again hosting their Sunday party. Techno music all night and enthusiastic dancers that makes the room so hot you’ll be covered in sweat

The first year I attended the festival, there was a tornado warning. Last year, a friend of mine took a little too many drugs and spent the night at the hospital. I wonder what this year’s edition will be like…In the meantime Beatport made a list of 40 essential Detroit techno and house tracks to get you in the mood.

Sleepless is the best way to describe my weekend, but a good vodka Redbull diet served me well, and kept me moving.

On the second day of Movement, we were able to enjoy the music of Soul Clap, Ricardo Villalobos, 69 (Carl Craig project) and Delano Smith. During the sets there was a tornado warning; I seriously thought “this is it” during the Soul clap set, which added some strange yet funny anxiety to the day!

Villalobos was able to get through the boarder; but that was quite surprising, especially since he was so intoxicated during his set! You can’t change him. We cracked up laughing when he unsuccessfully tried to put drugs in his pockets while deejaying, then he decided to go hide under the DJ table while thousands of people watched.

My interview with Marc Houle from M-nus records, was one of the highlights of the first day. We talked about Project Noise in Montreal, and the noise complaint issue to which he said: “Toronto is there for people who wanted to be quiet, not Montreal!”

Here’s my complete interview:

With a name like yours, it would be easy to think that you’re from Quebec!
I am actually from Windsor, Ontario. I love music from Quebec. Actually a lot of music I listen to is from the early 80’s in Quebec. There’s some obscure music like Echo 83. Nobody knows them, even people from Quebec don’t know who they are.

Really? It’s more like new wave?
It’s more like Kraftwerk, it’s beautiful. It’s three French dudes. It’s one of the best album of all time.

Tell me about how you started deejaying?
It was at Richie Hawtin’ club: 13 Below. I used to play new wave music – it was fun! We had one room, and throughout the club we had televisions with different Ataris; so people were sitting at the stations playing old video games and I’d be playing new wave music that’d go along with it, and they’d bring the cartridge to the DJ booth and trade them for other games. And I’d talk to people: Oh ! You just played Tick tock, it’s beautiful eh! Try Mister Do! You’ll love it!

Now you’re based in Berlin. What made you move there?
When I first started playing at clubs, one of my first shows was in Berlin, and it was one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen before. People swinging from the ceiling, everyone screaming, it was like a fake movie; it was surreal, but it was normal there. Then you come to North America and everyone is standing there and talking to each other. Usually you can hear people talking about work while you’re deejaying, but there it doesn’t happen. Every time I went back, it just got better and better, and better. I decided that if wanted to stay the same, then North America was fine, but if I wanted to grow as an artist and live as an artist, I had to go to Europe. It’s just so different.

Do you have a new release coming soon?
I don’t think so. It’s tough for me because I just make songs everyday and my goal in the studio is to make songs for Magda dj. She’s always been my inspiration. If Magda likes it, then I know it’s good, because I trust her judgment. If there’s a whole bunch of them that are really good, then I can put out an album, otherwise I just keep making songs, making songs, making songs.

How do you create your music?
I’m lucky enough to have my studio in my house, so if I’m like making eggs or something and I have an idea, I just take the eggs off and run to the studio record really fast. It’s like a game or something, it’s really fun, it’s never like work and if it became work, that would be really sad.

We survived the festival for a second day and were lucky enough to catch Derrick May and Juan Atkins in a tiny bar. Unfortunately the party got busted by the cops around 5 am, but we add plenty of time to dance like there was no tomorrow!

Marc Houle – On It (Original Mix) by E – Music LA

See more photos by Mathieu Grondin from Movement 2011 via facebook.

Covering an electronic music festival is like practicing extreme sports. No matter how careful you are, chances are you’re going to end up wrecked.

The fun started in the car where we pumped up techno music during the 10 hour drive to Detroit for Movement 2011. We were already destroyed the first night but a disco nap gave us force to check the opening party with Cassy. It was taking place in a tiny basement bar, the Oslo. The place was really dark and the sound system was insane! Then we checked out a party where the legendary Juan Atkins was performing. We learned the hard way that bars can’t serve alcohol after 2am. Thanks god we had three bottles of hard liquor in our hotel room and….the swimming pool was still open. Naked gin party was the way to go.

Woke up still drunk to make this interview with Aril Brikha (who turned out to be my favorite artist in the first day of festival).

Hey there! So, you’re playing tonight on the Detroit stage. What’s your set up like?
I use Ableton live and midi controllers.

Will you be playing a lot of your songs today?
I only play my own songs since it’s a live set. I just don’t know what to play yet. It’s a bit nerve wracking. I still have to figure out how to work the new controller I got in Chicago two days ago. It may be stupid or it may be a good thing. The crowd seems to be really open-minded, so it’s a good occasion to try new things! But, at the same time I did my first ever live set in Detroit in 99 so it’s like coming home, and I get nervous because I know a lot of people here.

You just released a track on your own label Art of Vengeance. Do you plan on releasing tracks by other artists or it will remain your own music?
At the moment the reason why I started the label was to get my music out quicker than most labels usually do. At this point I just have too much music that I’ve been sitting on, and actually the thought of releasing other peoples’ music was never on my mind until somebody actually mentioned it. But yeah! If I bump into something I like… and I have friends making music as well. If they have something that doesn’t fit anywhere else and I like it, I’ll put it on the label.

What are the other artists you want to check out during Movement?
Little Dragon, fellow Swedish band and I’m probably going to try to see more discoish artists like Morgan Geist and DJ Harvey (who unfortunately canceled the gig). I’m also going to check Adam Beyer. Hopefully I’ll discover something new actually! That’s what festivals are for…yeah or at least it should be! Rather than going to see the artists you already know.

The whole day was magic. Marc Houle (interview coming soon), Kerri Chandler and Aril Brikha were my highlights. Nothing beats the after party though. Omar-s proved that not only is he one of the best producers of the moment but, he’s also the best dj! The party was taking place in a café so no alcohol was served…except upstairs where there was an illegal free bar with vodka and old Detroit legends like submerge owner. They accepted the little Montreal groupie in their crew. Maybe the tutu helped…at least it gave me free access to the party!

Omar S – day by Dolls 2

Photos by Mathieu Grondin