Review: Movement Festival 2016

Art & Culture

Since Brexit came and did a big Union Jack coloured poo on everyone under 35 who was looking forward to having anything close to a decent future, going into Europe has been a heartbreaking exercise. It feels like having sex with that really great ex girlfriend you once had. You know the one, who was too good for you, but you dumped anyway because you thought you were too good for her, but then when you dumped her she suddenly got really hot and you suddenly got into KFC and psoriasis and now she’s pity fucked you one last time and all it did was serve to reinforce how good you once had it, you stupid fuck, WHY DID YOU DUMP HER, SHE WAS THE BEST THING YOU EVER HAD?! 

Anyway, that’s what going into Europe is like for me now, and my jaunt into Turin for this year’s annual Movement Italy festival was no different. Turin, like most Italian cities, is extremely beautiful. Walking around the cobbled streets littered with classical architecture and statues make you feel like you're stuck in a renaissance painting, and not in a ‘holy shit wouldn't it be scary if you were stuck in a renaissance painting this is just like Black Mirror but from the PAST’ kind of way but in an uplifting, appreciative way. 

Anyway enough of that, because I wasn't here for appreciating the finer side of Italian culture, I was here to be served great big dollops of the finest techno the world has to offer at Movement festival. And great big dollops of techno I was served. Very much so. 

I arrived at the Lingotto Fiere, which is Italian for massive huge building, not really knowing what to expect. I had been to Movement festivals before (the one in Croatia during the summer is excellent) but they were played out over a few days in lovely sunshine, so I didn’t know how a whole 11 hours of straight big room techno played from 7pm to 6am in one sitting would be, or how my brittle, lovelorn ears would handle it. 

Considering it was Halloween and therefore which as we all know is a bona fide excuse for as many people to dress up in even worse ways than they normally do, surprisingly few of the attendees were in costumes or face paint. Which was fine by me, because I was too busy swooning over all of the beautiful Italian girls and whilst simultaneously feeling insecure over all of the chiseled Italian hunks. I’m serious, I felt like Worzel Gummidge compared to these people. 

And another thing as well that Europeans do that us Brits aren’t so good at is techno dancing. Every time I’ve been to an English techno rave everyone seems to have quite straight, angular thrusts, direct, almost a tiny bit aggressive in how quick they are. But on the continent, they do what I like to call the ‘European Shuffle’, which is all smooth rolling elbows and knees and constant, buoyant movements, twirling their arms in the air or doing little shoulder rolls. I dunno, basically I felt like I had two left feet made of concrete when dancing next to these people, but maybe I’m just terrible at dancing who knows. 

But at least there was a lot of massive great stonking techno to dance terribly to. The there were four rooms of varying sizes, each playing with their own perfectly crisp systems and light shows that looked like the final scene of ‘Close Encounters Of The Third Kind’. I mean these light shows seriously, I’m talking on the scale of ‘if I’d just woken up in the middle of the dance floor I’d half expect to be abducted by an alien life form called Sven Vath or Kink’ kinda scale, they were huge, and very impressive. But obviously the music was what the sexy Italians and not so sexy British journalist was here for, and there was plenty to go around. We arrive near the start of Sven Vath’s set, just missing the excellently named Gandalf who was playing before, and Sven launched through a classic set of room swelling techno that certainly went down well with the crowd. 

But as is always the problem with festivals, especially one night marathons like this with so many top acts on the line up, it’s hard to choose where to go. Kink doing a live set? Yes, absolutely lively, but then that infringes on Phuture on the heavily packed Detroit stage who was also playing some lovely smoother grooves, but then he also lapped over with the mighty Adam Beyer, who was typically beefy on the huge speakers available to him, who then went just over the start of the high energy duo of Pan-Pot, and so on and so forth. It was tough work pegging it between stages to catch parts of everyone’s sets, but at least it was always great listening when you got there. This frantic dashing around the Lingotto Fiere only increased when it came to the headline act slots, with class acts like Jeff Mills, Derrick May, Apollonia and the imperious Ben Klock going back to back with Marcel Dettmann filling up the final pieces of the puzzle, wherever you were embarrassed to dance next to more attractive Italians with better rhythm than you, the techno being blasted out was of the highest quality. 

All told, it was a night of fast paced yet clinical precision that I’ve come to expect from the Movement brand, who keep putting on festivals worthy of the Detroit label name that is so influential throughout the scene. The fact that it’s set in the beautiful city of Turin is really an added bonus, and maybe hopefully they can come and put on something in the U.K soon too. 


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