City Slang: DJ AvA, Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp preview Movement at Urban Bean Co.
It’s a really, very cool idea. Paxahau, the good people behind the Movement Electronic Music Festival, are hosting a series of warm-up events, or previews, to the big festival which takes place Memorial Day weekend. On Thursday evening, Movement moved into the Urban Coffee Bean on Grand River in Detroit.
While Dj AvA and Chuck Flask & Keith Kemp ably worked the decks, the regular coffee shop goings on continued behind them. It made for an interesting and amusing webcast experience – one guy was taking a nap on camera, while others supped coffee and tappd their feet. It should come as no surprise – the Urban Coffee Co. people have always been big supporters of electronic music. The place includes a DJ stand, and co-owner Josh Greenwood encourages customers to bring their own vinyl and spin on the open turntables. Not on Thursday night though.
This being a coffee shop, and it not being particularly late at night, the music remained pretty chill throughout. DJ AvA (real name Heather McGuigan) includes Beth Orton, Madonna, the B-52’s, Daftpunk and David Byrne among her list of influences, so you know that she’s capable of both whipping up a storm and also sitting back a little. The Movement preview is an occasion for the latter; AvA allows the music to flow, no overkill. But her groove is lush and full and, even in this slightly odd environment, takes over. In techno town, she says on Facebook that, “It’s all house to me.” Fair enough.
Chuck & Keith (as Flask and Kemp are known around town) take over after an hour, and the pace picks up a touch. Both are celebrated DJs and producers, and Paxahau men. They live this shit. An 8 p.m. coffee shot set is probably the least weird thing they’ve ever done. They killed it though, driving through a set that was both appropriate to the surroundings and entertaining – moody, atmospheric and actually quite energetic.
It’s a compliment to both acts that the two sets were enjoyable while sat at home viewing the webcast. The DJ’s were faced with the task of pleasing different types of audiences on Thursday, and they managed it effortlessly. There guys know what they are doing and that’s why Movement, which is definitely taking place in May, is going to be fantastic.