In 2014, Carl Craig began a new event concept ‘Detroit Love’, designed to bring together and support the sounds of Detroit and take a little of the techno brotherhood to clubs and festivals the world over. “My love for Detroit is my inspiration, my inspiration is ‘Detroit Love”, says Craig. Detroit Love launched at ADE 2014, in the underground recesses of Amsterdam’s North Sea Jazz club. Craig invited Detroit natives Recloose, Moodymann – who played a set encompassing disco, soul, house and hip-hop, and Mad Mike Banks to play keys over Carl Craig’s Moog infused 4-cd-deck closing set, which included live editing, sampling, scratching and looping of soundscapes ranging from ambient textures to masterful techno. A Detroit focused line-up, showcasing only a few of the sublime talent that Detroit has to offer, the launch was a special and unforgettable night for those who attended. Detroit Love continues to tour in select venues the world over, bringing the special Detroit magic wherever it goes, with standout shows in Detroit, Barcelona, Madrid, Berlin, Paris, NYC, LA, San Francisco, London and Ibiza.
The past few years have seen Carl expanding on his love for collaboration, overseeing a number of visionary performances with ensembles ranging from national orchestras to world-renowned classical pianists. Following the success of the Versus album in 2017 – a realisation of his joint project with pianist Francesco Tristano – he continues to explore the boundaries between techno and classical music with a series of innovative sonic experiments.
In 2018 he performed select pieces from Versus with the Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra in Krakowice. Expanding on this, 2019 will see the project performed in its entirety at The Royal Albert Hall alongside The Chineke! Orchestra – Europe’s first majority BME orchestra, for a historic night of musical explorations.
Another collaboration in 2018 – this time with Argentinian synth group Klauss – resulted in a joint EP on Planet E, later remixed by DJ Deep & Traumer. Further releases on the iconic label include entries from Waajeed, the late Marcus Belgrave, Terrence Parker, Martin Buttrich and Jon Dixon, laying testament to Carl’s tried-and-tested curatorial skills. Applying this in a new context he launched the Detroit Love label that same year with a compilation mixed by Stacey Pullen, as a platform to accompany his event series of the same name. With showcases scheduled in venues across the globe, a residency on Worldwide FM and a second compilation due in May 2019, he continues to deliver impassioned tributes to his hometown with unparalleled dedication.
When Craig explains his philosophy, his wry sense of humor seeps into his explanations of far-reaching concepts that merge worlds together. “I have a very special career. When I feel that I’m tired of going on the road I can go in the studio. When I’m tired of concentrating on the studio I can go on the road. I can work with concert pianists, jazz musicians or rock guys. Very few people have that range of interests. Very few people juggle a career that they choose specifically.” No one else can pull it all together quite like Carl Craig.