Movement Torino is the European version of the Movement Detroit Electronic Music Festival, one of the USA’s most respected dance music festivals, specialising in house and techno. Derrick May, founder of the festival, launched Movement Europe in 2006 in northern Italy’s Turin in an attempt to bring the brand to a wider audience, and has since watched it snowball into the huge affair it is today.
Italy and Movement have a symbiotic relationship. Whilst Movement has earned a worldwide following from its move to Europe, it has also brought a much needed authenticity and seriousness to Italy’s dance music scene. One of the best dance events of the year in Italy, Movement Europe draws a varied crowd from the continent and beyond. This year was no exception, evident from the groups of foreigners visible in the city, the melange of languages overheard at industry events and the wide array of creative types present at the festival’s main event on Halloween.
The main event ran from 8pm to 6am at a huge conference centre in the middle of Turin, Ligotto Fierre, an ex-Fiat factory. Its warehouse feel perfectly suited the event’s Halloween vibe, its crowd dressed to kill, be their outfits glamorous, smart getups or dark-lipsticked witch costumes. The vibes were old-school, as drinkers coalesced with the more mind-altered of the lot to create a party with minimum inhibitions and maximum bonding, despite language barriers.
Moodymann played what was perhaps the standout set of the festival, bringing an ecstatic crowd to fanatical levels by 2am after dropping an hour and a half of driving, melodic house. He clashed with Skream, who blitzed the Yellow stage with a set that confirmed him as an assured voice in heavy, atmospheric house. David Squillace, Martin Buttrich and Matthias Tanzmann aced it as supergroup Better Lost Than Stupid, setting the tone somewhere between classic and experimental. Ellen Allien was another festival highlight, who took perhaps the prime slot in the gargantuan main room, accentuating her excellent DJing with brilliantly awkward dance moves.
Jeff Mills closed the Detroit stage, the festival’s acknowledgement of its origins, to the sound of screaming house fans that weren’t ready to accept the festival’s 6am closing time. The singularly great Steffi bopped enthusiastically to her tech-house set until 5am when most of the crowd flocked to Joseph Capriati, the festival’s biggest Italian producer. Representing local and national talent were the Blue and Torino rooms, which were heavily populated by well-dressed Italians.
The main event, along with the smaller events held leading up to the big day, its subsequent after party held nearby, and the closing party headlined by Kerri Chandler the next night, were all proof of the festival’s firm place in underground electronic music as a leader in the Italian scene and one to watch on the global scene. With its lineup expanding every year, Movement 2015 looks set to be another important mark on the calendar.