Techno legend Carl Craig may be bitter about losing his job as creative director of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival (DEMF), but he's still taking advantage of its expected draw to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of Planet E, his Detroit-based label.
Craig is debuting a DEMF-related Planet E compilation at the festival, which kicks off Saturday at Hart Plaza, and throwing an anniversary party the following day at a nearby club.
Dubbed All Access, the album features artists who either performed at last year's inaugural event or are scheduled to play this year. These include fellow Detroit veterans Stacey Pullen (as Black Odyssey), Kenny Larkin (as Dark Comedy), Richie Hawtin, Kevin Saunderson (as Inner City), Slum Village and Random Noise Generation, who contribute the exclusive track, "The Playground."
Up-and-coming Detroit artists such as Recloose, Ibex, Lacksidaisycal and Bill Van Loo round out the record.
"It's an interesting project," Craig said. "It's a compilation to make sure that not only the big guys who have been around are included, but also new cats who don't really have a lot of chances and one of them is to get up on the DEMF stage and play."
All Access, which Craig said will be the first in a series of compilations centered on the DEMF (now officially called fOCUS://DEMF/2000 after a car model sold by sponsor Ford Motor Company), will be available at the festival's Planet E booth, in Detroit record stores and on Planet E's Web site (www.planet-e.net) beginning Saturday. It will be released worldwide later this year.
Sunday's anniversary party, also dubbed All Access, will feature the weekend's only performance by Craig, who was not scheduled to spin at the DEMF even before Pop Culture Media, the festival's producer, announced it was terminating his contract as creative director on May 30 because he failed to deliver 18 of 72 performer contracts that needed to be signed on deadline.
Craig claims the charges against him are unfounded and last week filed a lawsuit against Pop Culture Media and DEMF co-founder Carol Marvin (see "Carl Craig Fires Back At Festival Organizers Who Fired Him").
He promised a memorable set at the All Access party, which will be held from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. in three different rooms at The Labyrinth club. "I'm going to play space-age funk," he said. "I want to touch on what we've been doing the past 10 years, as well as music of the last couple of decades and music from the future."
Other DJs scheduled to perform include France's Laurent Garnier, Gilbr' and Recloose.
Also by way of commemorating Planet E, Craig is re-releasing his classic cut "The Climax" on Saturday. The track was originally released in 1990 under his Paperclip People alias. The new single will feature a re-mastered version of the song and a dub remix both by Berlin group Basic Channel.
"We were waiting for the right time to re-release it, and our 10th anniversary seems like the right time to do it," Craig said. "We put a lot of care and thought into the project instead of it being just, 'Let's put it out again.'"
"The Climax," released originally on Craig's short-lived Retroactive imprint and later on the UK's Ministry of Sound label, will be the first in a new series of 12-inch re-releases pressed on quality heavy vinyl with full-color sleeves.