Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival Reviewed
Two weeks ago, Hurricane Sandy caused the city that never sleeps to almost completely shut down. All subways closed, power was gone: the city was in crisis. The power came back on Saturday, but the city was slow to recover. Partway through the week, with subways still in partial service, many wondered how this would effect the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival which was set to occur the following weekend. In past years BEMF took place in a warehouse setting with multiple stages. This year, the festival has expanded so much that it now takes place over five small venues all within walking distance from each other right off the Bedford Avenue stop on the L train in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Luckily, the L made a speedy recovery and was fully usable in time for BEMF that weekend.
The first night of the festival, I started at Public Assembly to catch Deadboy. His mix of house and garage was a great, low-fi start to the night. Next I headed to cameo to catch New York City resident Mess Kid's set. After Mess Kid came the up and coming rapper Mykki Blanco: his flow is unmatched and his performance is truly next level. His mixtape, "Cosmic Angel: The Illuminati Princess" is a must download! After that, I headed to the Moombahton Massive Stage at 285 Kent. The small venue was filling in early for the growing genre: moombahton turned 3 years old this month, but it stands at the forefront of the electronic music scene, supported by its creator Dave Nada, half of Nadastrom. Nadastrom themselves performed, along with Sabo. Later that night I headed back to Public Assembly to catch the Fade to Mind showcase: run by Kingdom, whose heavy house set, the Los Angeles based label is also home to Fatima al Quadiri and Nguzunguzu, both of whom also performed at the showcase. Nguzunguzu is a guy and girl duo who describes their music as "sad sexy scary": it pretty much evades description, but it definitely was a must see!
The next night I dedicated my night to the Friends of Friends showcase at Public Assembly. I knew I would have to catch this stage: the Los Angeles based label has put out releases from a lot of extremely artists including Shlohmo, Thomas Barfod, LOL Boys and Groundislava. First up at this stage was Lazy Brow, who is also the owner of Friends of Friends records. Next was Salva, who is a veteran producer and owner of his own label, Frite Nite, whose most recent hit was his collaboration with RL Grime in the remix of this summer's hit "Mercy". His productions are extremely diverse, as was his set. After Salva came Shlohmo, one of the most well known names on the BEMF lineup. Los Angeles native, but former short-term New Yorker, he brought a huge crowd and an incredible performance. His great mix of breezy, low-fi, moody beats with hip-hop-style drums, some classic R&B hits mixed with many of his well known originals and remixes had everyone dancing. After Shlohmo was relative newcomer Groundislava, who just released his Feel Me LP earlier this year. His downtempo, dreamy, nostalgia filled soundscapes were a perfect end to a perfect weekend.
Photos By: Oliver Correa & Amanda Rohowsky / HiFi Cartel.