Long overdue but finally writing some thoughts aboutMovement 2015.What a tremendous festival!! So many wonderful musical acts as well as just an intense comraderie born out of a pure love for techno. Our thanks to Paxahua who as always run a tight ship. It's not often you get to chat with a dj right after he gets off stage making his Underground stage debut but this happened with Anthony Jimenez of Blank Code, Detroit. I managed to grab him for a quick chat in the artist area with the whomp of bass in the background - perfect accompaniment. Here's what I discovered.
CGNY: I’m chatting here with Anthony who just finished playing the Underground stage after what can only be described as a blistering set for the kickoff of Movement Electronic Music Festival. Anthony how do you feel?
AJ: Amazing. It’s probably going to take a little while to set in but you know it was fun.
CGNY: Where were you were when you got the call to say a) you were playing and b) you were playing that particular stage of the festival?
CGNY: First of all my phone was going off! I was getting a whole bunch of messages “Hey real important that you call me”. Chad Parraghi(my agent/BC/Modified artists) told me I was going to be playing. I knew I was going to be playing Underground stage. I mean I didn’t know at first but I had a good feeling. It didn’t really actually set in – I mean I knew about 3 months ago but it didn’t really set in until this morning when I started packing my bags. I woke up and I had been out real late last night. I played a couple of tunes and I started packing my stuff up to go and that was when I started to get the butterflies. “Oh man I’m gonna play this: it’s going to be awesome!”
CGNY: Did you have a chance do a sound check earlier? How does that work on the day?
AJ: I got in about 12 o'clock this morning. I set all my stuff up, played a couple of tracks just to hear how it sounded and it sounded really good. I know this stage. I’ve been coming here for like 10 years so I know how that stage sounds. You have to play the tracks that fit well with it basically.
About a half an hour before I was with a bunch of people and everyone is talking to me so at about 1:30pm I just snuck off by myself and relaxed a little, prepped the mind.
CGNY: So once you knew you were playing – how far in advance did you start getting your set together? What is your normal routine?
AJ: Usually I never ever prep anything.
CGNY: Not even an opening track?
AJ: Oh yeah. You have a couple of them in your head, opening closing, always something like that. But this one I definitely sorted, put together a special playlist to pick from. For this gig I definitely picked out certain tracks, paid more attention and planned it a little bit more. As far as the sound is concerned because if you play certain tracks in there they don’t translate very well because it’s like a big cavern. So yes I had to be mindful of that so everything turned out pretty good I think!
CGNY: You are one of the Blank Code crew probably the best party promoters in Detroit!
AJ: Yes I’d like to think so. We put a lot of work into it. I’m probably one of the newest members but BC has been around in one way shape or form for a long time. The original guys that started it (Chad Parraghi, Nick Bien, Corbin Davis). Everyone puts work in and we try to put on good shows
CGNY: Yes I was at the party last night (at The Works) – it was going off! You just came back from Medellin I saw – how was that?
AJ: Amazing. It was really fun. The whole experience from start to finish was incredible. Really my first international booking. From getting on the plane, to the trip kicking my tail, to having to play the same day. I was there for about 3 days the whole experience was really good. The people down there will take anything you throw at them they will just eat it up.
CGNY: Are you working on any productions at the moment?
AJ: Yeah. I have been just focused on this gig –and now that it’s over I can go back in the studio get some of these EPs out but I have a little bit of work to do.
CGNY: I was having a chat with Vidal (Vargas) last night and we were talking about whether it’s a perquisite to be a producer these days. Will anyone book anyone anymore who isn’t also producing music?
AJ: I would say yes it’s definitely possible. Somebody’s bread and butter might not be production, it might be djing. In the past djs got booked to dj not because of the songs that they brought out. Before social media very few ravers/fans would actually know the music the djs were playing. You might recognize a couple of tracks here or there, but it’s all how the artist puts it together. There are a ton of really big artists out there who are just djs; they may have made a couple of tracks here and there but they might not be full blown making them right now. So I would say yes!
CGNY: What fun fact can you tell us about Detroit that we might now know? Where is the best taco, the best vegetarian (editors note: I know that it’s Detroit Vegan Soul)
"..we always come up to Detroit. I’ve been coming here since I knew about it. And it’s always a homage. Being here this weekend is a chance to reunite with people. It’s just something that everybody does all the time – in your DNA!"
Photo courtesy of Juli Monsalve
AJ: Well today is actually my 3 year anniversary of moving out here.
CGNY: Oh so you’re not a native Detroiter?
AJ: No. I’m from all over the place. I was born in California but I spent most of my time in Cleveland. Like 15/16 years something like that.
CGNY: So is Cleveland a hot bed of techno, how did you get into the music?
AJ: No but being from there means we always come up to Detroit. I’ve been coming here since I knew about it. And it’s always a homage. Being here this weekend is a chance to reunite with people. It’s just something that everybody does all the time – in your DNA!
CGNY: When you were a kid was there any particular artist that you loved that inspired you?
AJ: No there really wasn’t. I’m not one of the Kraftwerk guys! I had a friend who used to give me tapes when people used to record sets on tapes. And he used to give me drum and bass tapes. So I listened to all different kinds of music eventually honing in on techno, the darker driving underground sound.
CGNY: I distracted you - steered you off course there you were talking about your anniversary an the best places to go out in Detroit?
AJ: Yes I’m not much for going out – I mean I’ve been to Slows and Mexicantown but I’m a homebody. I’m content to sit home in front my computer and make tracks. Maybe I should try to get out more but I do that socially with other friends especially this weekend with my friends visiting from Colombia. We’re going to go to the train station! I’ve never been but they want to check it out!
CGNY: My last question is of the artists that you don’t know or are visiting here who are playing who are you most excited to hear?
AJ: I always say that I’ve seen a lot of these artists. I don’t have a specific person that I go to listen to. Most of the time I mosey around or go to the Underground stage then once you hear people I follow up after that. My friend says “Be like Water” every time we come to the festival. Don’t plan on anything just go. It’s not the point of this weekend to be on a schedule; it’s to relax
CGNY: And see where life takes you
CGNY: Dog or cat person I know you like animals cos you like my animal posts on FB!
AJ: Dog! WE actually just rescued some kittens from under my porch. There were 6 of them – man it was crazy. And now we’re treating them so we can get them adopted.
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