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Techno Tuesday: Marc Houle talks Detroit influence ahead of Movement’s 10-year anniversary

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Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.

In a few days time, Movement Electronic Music Festival will take over Detroit’s Hart Plaza for its 10-year anniversary since relaunching under Paxahau. Ahead of the legendary event, we spoke to Movement performer and techno veteran Marc Houle about the influence of Detroit, his thoughts on the upcoming festival, and his amazing new remix of Claude VonStroke’s classic anthem, “Who’s Afraid of Detroit.”

Houle got his start on Richie Hawtin’s Minus label back in 2004, and has been a prominent producer in the techno space ever since. His live show has become a spectacle in its own right — heavy on analog synths and improvisation. On Saturday night of Movement, Houle brings his coveted live show to the Beatport stage for what is sure to be one of the standout performances of the weekend. Tickets for Movement are available here.

Marc Houle’s remix of Claude VonStroke’s “Who’s Afraid of Detroit” is due out on Dirtybird on May 27.

What’s your history with Detroit?

Well I’m from Windsor, Canada which is about a 3 or 4 minute drive to downtown Detroit.  So, being physically closer than most, a lot of us from Windsor used to pretty much live there. We used to go to all the crazy underground warehouse parties, meet up at Motor lounge and had a great great time.  That’s where I met some of my closest friends and biggest influences. 

How has the city and its legacy influenced your career over the years?

Oh for sure.  A typical weekend for me was to start of hitting the pawn shops in Detroit for some cheapo old keyboards and drum machines.  Then we would meet up at someone’s house and all go partying for the weekend.  After, I would return to safe Windsor and just make music all week. It was like going to Techno university or something.  SO much fun. 

What’s your connection to Movement Festival?

The movement festival has become the nucleus of Detroit Techno bringing everything together once a year and it’s always very special to be there, either spectating or on stage.  It’s pretty amazing that something like that happens in Detroit and It’s always an honour to be a part of it.

What are you most looking forward to about Movement this year?

Seeing my friends, other people playing and the Paxahau guys and just walking around listening to great stuff.  Detroit is going through a super change right now so the festival also gives me an excuse to explore downtown again and see what’s new. 

What performers would you recommend checking out?

 I’ve been to loads of festivals and usually they’ll have a techno stage, a chill stage, an EDM stage, a Drum n Bass stage etc.  Movement is the only one where there is a quinate of great music stages..the best music!  So really if you can, don’t stay in one place too long so you can really hear as much as possible. 

 

Tell us about your new remix for Claude VonStroke and how that came about.

I’ve known Barclay/Claude for a long time; before our techno careers started even.  He lent me his DX100 for a year so i could have 2 of them going. That was amazing haha.   I think musically we come from similar places and can understand each other’s music quite well.  As for the remix, we had played recently at the Desert Hearts festival and he told me about the release and asked if I would be on board.  I took his great track and reimagined it as the last track of the night a DJ might play to finish a long party.   It starts slow and dreamy before kicking back into the beat.  and finally fading moodily away.  

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