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The 1st week of May 2009 saw some great losses in our artist community.

R.I.P. | One of music’s most cherished pioneers, Detroit’s Amp Fiddler, lost his only child, 18 year-old Dorian A. Fiddler, on May 1st due to diabetic complications. Dorian was an accomplished drummer and trumpeter, with a stoic spirit and his father’s inherent musical talent. Dorian will be dearly missed, and Amp is in our thoughts and prayers.

R.I.P. | Renowned American painter Ernie Barnes made his final transition last week at the age of 70. Barnes work, such as the famed “Sugar Shack,” became cultural icons by way of mass media such as the hit TV show “Good Times” and Marvin Gaye‘s “All Things Considered,” and have since served as inspiration for countless underground soul-dance music party flyers worldwide. His work now immortalized, NPR reported; Many people would call Barnes a “black painter.” He preferred the description “neo-Mannerist.” Barnes never painted his subjects with their eyes open. “We don’t see each other,” he said once in an interview. “We are blind to each other’s humanity.”

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This year’s festival was more diverse than ever – and the afterparties lasted till the wee morning hours, a weekend full of house, techno, electro and soul, view photos.

Friday night started off the weekend with the Masters of House event with memorable sets dedicated to the late, great Ken Collier.  DJs included Delano Smith, Norm Talley, Minx and Al Ester (who danced behind the tables all night). The old Warehouse – still loud and fun.  Later, we headed to Trenchtown for the real techno – not that “euro” ish – at Underground Anthems Live with Keith Worthy, Patrice Scott (who killed a mid 80s classic set) and special guest DJ E-Man from NYC.

First day of Movement Detroit’s Electronic Music Festival on Saturday, which was all around organized and well attended, had us hollering at old school electro sets by Nucleus, Egyptian Lover, Peanut Butter Wolf and Pete Rock closing out the stage. That night we (tried to) roller skate at the Mohogani Music’s annual Soul Skate party with a 5 hour set by Kenny Dixon Jr aka Moodyman. It felt like the entire Detroit music family was there – present (and most on skates) were Amp Fiddler, Carl Craig, DJ Dez, Kai Alce, ‘Mad’ Mike Banks, Piranha, Stacey Pullen, Theo Parrish and many others, with a skating contest and hundreds of amazing skaters.

Later that night we went to hear Quentin Harris and Derrick May at the Hi-Tek Soul event at the legendary 1515 Broadway, spending some time bumpin to quality house and techno inside the infamous facility with nothing but a red light and a single strobe. To cap the night, Juan Atkins was having his loft party down the street with guest DJs Titonton and Kimyon, along with his infamous Metroplex drinks – they hit hard!

Sunday brought us back to the festival this time having us on the main stage in the VIP Red Bull area hearing the Lawnchair Generals, Miles Maeda and Mark Farina bump all evening. On our last night in the D, we got down hard at just 1 event – Sunday Skool with resident Stacey Pullen and guests from NY Mr. V and Dennis Ferrer @ the Shelter. Dark, hot, packed, sweaty goodness.  We missed the Shake it Down with Spank Rock and Peanut Butter Wolf but we needed the house fix before jetting back to Los Angeles. We also missed out on the Monday closing Motown Revival event Rick “The Godson” Wilhite put on with special guests Chicago’s Dajae and Glenn Underground.

Special thanks to Shelly O’Neill and Native Instruments, Jocelyne Ninneman, Paxahau staff, Nina Morena, Nancy Gavoor, Mike Clark, Monica Lockett aka DJ Genesis, Neveric, Nina Morena, Kimyon, DJ Munk and the Uni-Verse for the perfect weather in Michigan, which is always a crap shoot.  Till next year, we love you Detroit!

  1. BEST DRESSED: Manchildblack & Monstah Black followed by Wunmi (she makes her own clothes!),
  2. MOST GIGS ALL WEEK: DJ Spinna followed by Rich Medina & Daz-I-Kue
  3. BEST DJ SET: Rich Medina (@ The Joint Boat Party), Simbad (@ Raw Fusion), DJ Karizma (All Sets)
  4. BEST LIVE SHOW: Amp Fiddler & Eric Roberson (ROOTS NYC/BEHRINGER event) and all the acts at the Direct Drive TV Event: Leroy Burgess, Exchange Bureau, Jeremy Ellis aka Ayro with John Arnold, Julie Dexter, Angelique, Nadia Harris
  5. MOST TALKED ABOUT PERSONALITIES: Erykah Badu (Giant Step @ Delano), Common (Pool Party @ Shelbourne with Talib Kweli, Biz Markie & Jazzy Jeff) and Russell Simmons at Fashion Week visiting various WMC events
  6. NUMBER 1 SONG OF THE CONFERENCE: “Bounce!” by Ayro ( +DJ Spinna remix) – original mix found on our Fusicology 2008 Spring Sampler
  7. PHRASE OF THE CONFERENCE: “I am feeling myself!”
  8. BEST OLD SCHOOL PERFORMANCES: Leroy Burgess & Amp Fiddler
  9. BEST NEW SCHOOL PERFORMANCES: TK Wonder & Taylor McFerrin
  10. BEST PARTIES OF WMC 2008: James Brown Tribute, Libation, Bugz vs Jazzanova, Stones Throw, Miambient, Om Records, Roots NYC, 3º/ King Street 15 Year + Co-Op & Raw Fusion @ Club Jazid (our favorite venue) – Cop-Op & Raw Fusion really took the cake!

Check out our WMC photos | DJ Rich Medina’s DJ Top 5

Fusicology is proud to participate as media sponsor in this year’s 6th Annual Urban Organic Festival downtown Detroit , November 15 – 18. This soul summit of sorts kicks off with performances from renowned & emerging soul & hip hop artists such as Amp Fiddler, Alison Crockett, Monica Blaire, Anthony David, Waajeed and many more. The weekend is set to climax with an all-star local jam with legend Roy Ayers, as we attempt to “connect the dots” between our seemingly disparate genres of “soul” music. The festival also features workshops and panel discussions for independent industry activists, as well as an indy music film showcase.

Travel & hotel discounts for 2007 festival-goers!  Detail below.. Anticipation mounts for the 4-day weekend in the D, with the Heavy Rhyme Experience kicking off the fest on 11.15, and the first-ever Annual Readers Choice Soul Track Awards on 11.16 hosted by SoulTracks.com & JodinesCorner.com. Awards will be given in several categories, with performances from over a dozen of our favorite rising Soul stars!   A weekend not to be missed.

Detroit Urban Organic Festival announces travel discounts for out-of-town UO Fest-goers!   All discounts apply to travel / accommodations on the following dates:  Tuesday, November 13 – Tuesday, November 20.  Reservations must be made via phone.

Northwest Airlines is offering 10% off your airfare one-way or round trip to Detroit Metro.  CODE: NMC25.

Amtrak Railways is offering 10% off any class train ticket on-way or round-trip to Detroit (Baltimore St. Station, across from St. Regis Hotel).  CODE: X70Q-925.

Hotel St. Regis – New Center, Detroit is offering $99/night room rate (50% off!) + other discount options.  CODE: Urban Organic Festival.