As I geared up to check out the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, I didn’t know what I was in for. This was my first year and all, but what I did know was that I could expect two things: Bass and dancing. Packed with artists who brought so many eclectic styles to the table, I got a whole heap-full in these two days. The festival stretched between venues such as Music Hall of Williamsburg, Cameo Gallery, 285 Kent, Glasslands Gallery and Public Assembly, and having these venues come together, being as they are all blocks from one another in the ever-emerging area of Willamsburg, seemed almost to be fate. From the food trucks and hipsters (which seem to go hand in hand), to the lively yet disorganized vibe of the whole thing, what I experienced can be classified as classic Brooklyn.
I began the journey at 285 Kent, as there was a last minute addition to the festival: An all ages “Moombahton Massive” showcase. I knew the music pretty well already, but had no idea what I was in for when I arrived. Nadastrom and Sabo were on, and had the place twerking harder than any other venue during the entire festival. Due to the nature of the music, people appeared unable to control the shaking of their rumps. Because the show allowed all ages, I decided I wanted to see the rest of the festival and not end up in prison due to some 15-year-old who claims she’s 20. So I kept it moving.
I next went over to Cameo Gallery where I was expecting to catch the 3rd act Brenmar and his special style of club/dance music, but since I obviously forgot which borough I was in, the opener Mess Kid was still on. I had no qualms with this as his deep-ghetto vibes kept my head bopping through his entire set. Soon after, he was done and Mykki Blanco took the stage. Now, if you know about this artist and what he has been doing, then you already know what went down. However, I actually only knew the name, and by god was I impressed! Other than his vocals being a touch too loud, his rapping capabilities were ingenious, while the beats he rapped over had me cooking like Lil’ B himself was next to me! I ended up spending the end of the first night at Public Assembly where Morri$, who I have been dying to see for a long time, was keeping things incredibly trill in the back room. He seamlessly switched between juke and trap, while still keeping a classic house/dance vibe.
The second night of BEMF was, as I had expected, a doozy. Like many, I spent a lot of the night at Public Assembly where Friends of Friends was putting on their showcase, with well known artists Lazy Brow, Salva, Shlohmo, and Groundislava. The man himself, Salva, most likely put on the best set of the entire festival. Playing bangers, some of which had to have been unreleased, by himself and others, the response of the crowd said it all. One song he dropped had a bass noise that just got lower and lower, which made the whole crowd go nuts, and actually blew the sub-woofer. From there, I went into the back room for a little while where Dre Skull was killing it. This was clear when Mr. Skull began his remix of “Mercy” that was 300 time triller than Salva’s, who was actually playing his reworking of the same tune in the other room. After dancing in the back room for a while, I went back to check out Shlohmo‘s set where he lulled the crowd with his lush basslines and exciting percussion work. He started the set with a new tune which I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot of very soon.
From there, I was ridiculously excited to go see XXYYXX at Glasslands. However, upon my arrival, I discovered that he had been cancelled. On top of this, I went back to the center of it all, the Music Hall of Williamsburg, to listen in on the infamous Nicholas Jaar, but the homie Dave P stepped in to do a surprise set. Not complaining, but it was not what I had expected.
All in all, this festival was something special indeed. A great time, with great venues, great artists, and all around great vibes. Next year I will undoubtedly be there, with high hopes for what these producers and the beautiful people of Brooklyn have to offer!