Movement Music Festival - Detroit

Carl Craig

Carl Craig is a multi-disciplined visionary whose eclectic tastes and influences all converge into his “main discipline,” Carl Craig. The Detroit pioneer’s lifelong pursuit of independence and self-gratification is the catalyst behind three decades of innovation and achievement within the realm of electronic music.

As the mastermind behind Planet E Communications, Carl conceived and nurtured a platform that preserves his independence while also providing a liberating space for a range of international artists over the last 30 years. Carl’s open-minded approach has led to the release of records that traverse hip-hop, jazz, funk, and more esoteric electronic compositions, purposely avoiding commercial-sounding music.

As a producer and performer, Carl’s history is well documented. Under a variety of aliases—69, Paperclip People, C2, and many more—he has produced six LPs, the most recent being Versus, with his back catalog including credits on over 600 remixes for a diverse cross-section of electronic music artists from Depeche Mode and Tori Amos to his friends Kenny Larkin and Kevin Saunderson, plus many many more. In 2008, Carl’s tireless remix work was recognized at the Grammys, where he was nominated for his rework of Junior Boys “Like A Child.”

Forever an ambassador for his hometown, Carl pays homage to Motor City with his Detroit Love compilations and events while also spearheading the city’s electronic music festival way back at the turn of the millennium, and also runs his own artist agency, Detroit Premiere Artists.

Carl’s creative dedication to black excellence and the championing of its creative leaders has led to a series of educational projects in recent years. His ‘All Black Vinyl’ Instagram series, in which he showcases a record from a black artist each day of February, evolved into the 2022 ‘All Black Digital’ partnership with Beatport and Quincy Jones’s Qwest TV, featuring moving conversations with Black artists and a series of live streams with rising African talent from South Africa’s Constitution Hill. The Beatport partnership continued in 2023 with a series of editorial content showcasing rising Black artists from Detroit and returns to Carl’s own Instagram profile in 2024. Also this year, Carl delivered a special Black History Month DJ Mix to Apple Music alongside a Selects playlist featuring all Black artists and spoke on the Black experience’s impact on his wide-reaching artistry at NYU and Michigan State University.

More recently, he has taken his outward explorations a step further by working with the prestigious art establishment ​​DIA:Beacon. His immersive installation Party/After-Party is the result of five years of development and occupied the huge, warehouse-esque 40,000 square-foot basement at the gallery during its 15-month showing. The piece combines a soundscape and programmed lighting effects to engage participants in Carl’s interpretation of his experiences on the road while touring, from the club to the after-party. After showing at the DIA:Beacon, and now acquired as part of the DIA’s permanent collection, Party/After-Party was brought to Los Angeles’ esteemed home for contemporary art MOCA. The installation was experienced by thousands of patrons over four months at the iconic downtown Los Angeles repurposed warehouse location. Carl was also recognized as a guest of honor at the MOCA Gala and hosted a series of three Party/After-Party sessions in partnership with Insomniac and Secret Project featuring performances from Carl alongside Moodymann, DJ Minx, King Britt, DJ Holographic, Kyle Hall, Rimarkable, and Erno. Party/After-Party will next be brought overseas to multiple to-be-announced locations in the years to come.

2022 saw Carl’s prominence in high art and culture furthered through the presentation of the Carl Craig Synthesizer Ensemble at Carnegie Hall’s AFROFUTURISM Festival as well as a special set at the 59th Venice Biennale in the cavernous naval complex Tese 98, in celebration of artist Stan Douglas’ participation in the Canada Pavilion.

His contribution to global electronic music culture has been vast. Despite widespread critical acclaim and success, he continues to inject his innovative energy into everything he does, establishing a legacy that will stand long after the wheels of his car finally fall off…

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