What took them so long? Mixmag FINALLY publish the Annabel Ross review of Movement Detroit – and it’s just as sycophantic as we expected…

Sometimes, Ears To The House wonders what exactly holds up the dance music press from going to print. We’re only a small team here, yet we can get material published quickly when need be – and even in the days we were a one-man band, our editor scooped Resident Advisor by two weeks.

The delay in this case is even more of a mystery. Last year, Mixmag recruited dance music press doyenne Annabel Ross to go to Movement Detroit and do a review – but they quickly ran into a problem when Carl Craig found out and threatened to cancel his appearance at the festival if she was allowed to go.

This story has never been denied, even after numerous parties involved were contacted directly by Ears To The House. Furthermore, Mixmag made almost no effort at all to defend Ross – and were shamefully silent when Carl Craig and Alexander Omar Smith made a revolting attack against her online.

Indeed, this site – and remember that Annabel Ross has accused our editor of being a misogynist – was the only one to come out in her defence. The dance music press – with the sole exception of 5 Magazine, who made at least some attempt – has never seemed so weak and craven.

Quite why it’s taken Mixmag over a week to publish her review is unclear – but nonetheless, it’s finally here. The title of the article “Movement Festival is a celebration of techno’s past, present and future” is… well, let’s put it this way – if anyone tried pitching that to our editor, they wouldn’t get very far.

To be fair, however, Ross almost certainly did not choose the headline – but she did choose the words in her article. Very quickly in, she recalled a quote from Moodymann where he said “There’s no such thing as the big [Belleville] three, there’s only the big one. And that’s Juan Atkins”.

Ears To The House must commend this attempt by Ross to troll Derrick May – the chances of the peace in Farmington Hills being broken by the man himself making a Downfall style rant are currently high. Ross does also try to counter the Juan Atkins narrative – although far better attempts have been made elsewhere.

Unfortunately, that’s where our praise of Ross ends. The piece soon gives itself away when she talks about Movement trying to treat the “Detroit techno veterans with the reverence they deserve” – as if they’d come home wounded in a war. And further down the line – after a detailed description of what the festival was like – Eddie Fowlkes is quoted.

Talking about the commercialisation of techno, he says “It’s a disrespect to our culture. You weren’t dodging bullets and robbing motherf*****s just to get a 909.”. Which is the most bizarre thing – the fact Fowlkes seems proud to boast about such a thing, or the fact Ross fails to challenge this narrative?

Just like any other review in the dance music press – where the journalist is basically attending for free – the review is absolutely gushing about owners Paxahau. Not an inch of that bottom remains unkissed by Annabel Ross, declaring that “Paxahau refine their process year on year and that effort was really felt this year”.

It also can’t be forgotten that Ross does some DJing from time to time – she even mentions it on her own website. And despite having previously reported on allegations of sexual abuse against Derrick May, the question remains – did Annabel Ross the journalist write this review, or did Annabel Ross the budding DJ?

The sycophantic nature of this review does little to disspell our suspicions…

The original version of this article stated it was DJ Stingray who said recalled a quote from Moodymann where he said “There’s no such thing as the big [Belleville] three, there’s only the big one. And that’s Juan Atkins”. It was, in fact, Moodymann who used these words. Apologies for the error.

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