Craig was the artistic director for the first two Detroit Electronic Music Festivals in 2000 and 2001, helping to bring a diversity of local and international talent like Derrick May, Richie Hawtin, DJ Spooky, Laurent Garnier, the Roots and Chicago post-rockers Tortoise to Hart Plaza. On the eve of the second festival, Craig was dismissed by then-festival organizers Pop Culture Media. The move galvanized support from Craig's friends and fans, who unfurled banners in front of the Main Stage to protest the action. But Craig's career never missed a beat. He began several collaborations: with Detroit space jazz pioneers from the Tribe (Marcus Belgrave, Wendell Harrison, Phil Ranelin); Berlin dub techno innovator Moritz von Oswald; and modern classicist Francesco Tristano. He released a mix CD on London's Fabric, a sessions project on K7, continues to run his Detroit-based Planet-E label and toured under the apocalyptic Demon Days moniker. Yes, he's stayed busy as h-e-l-l.
“Movement is already a great festival and a successful brand,” said Craig in a prepared statement. “It is an honor to be involved with Movement in this new capacity. I look forward to working with the team from Paxahau to take the artistic vision for the festival to a new level.”
In his new role Craig will be involved in various creative aspects of Movement including artist bookings and the festival’s brand image. He will also serve as an ambassador for the Movement festival as he travels the globe performing for electronic music enthusiasts.
“Detroit is such a wonderful music town,” Craig said. “With Movement we have such a great opportunity to remind people from around the world and those that are right here in our own backyard that electronic music in Detroit is very powerful and that our annual festival is the best stage for showcasing the most talented artists of this musical genre.”
Paxahau has been producing the festival since 2006. The group brought a simple, sensible business model to Movement: pay for the privilege of seeing some of the best talent on the planet. Initially, the Detroit Electronic Music Festival was free, though when subsidies from the City of Detroit and other sponsorships dried up, it made the noble format unsustainable. The event was on life support for several years and its future in doubt. But last year's festival was largely viewed as the most successful in the history of the franchise.
Paxahau representatives were naturally elated when Craig agreed to become creative director and believe his involvement will strengthen the future of the Movement festival in Detroit.
“We were extremely excited when Carl agreed to come on board as our new creative director,” said Jason Huvaere, president of Paxahau. “He has a complete understanding of the history of Techno Music in Detroit. He understands its impact around the world because he lives it every day. Carl is a musical visionary whose ambassadorship is unparalleled."
To that, we add: "hear, hear!" Long may Craig, who turns 40 today by the way, be the man behind the creative plan(s) for the annual Memorial day weekend celebration of all things danceably electronic. Celebrate with him Monday as he performs on the Main Stage. Signal on at 5:30 p.m. Happy birthday, C2. P.S. Great move for continued good Movement times, Paxahau.