All last week we got pumped up for the Brooklyn Electronic Festival, and now that it’s over, there’s little more to do than brush the confetti off our shoulders and remember the good times. Oh, and share the oodles of trippy photos we got. From Gold Panda to Falty DL to Baths, it was an unforgettable dose of electronic ecstasy.
This year, the expanded line-up and added venues transformed BEMF into a real festival. Instead of halfheartedly spanning Public Assembly and Music Hall of Williamsburg like in past years, this year, the festival took on festival organizers MeanRed decided to do it for real. They employed neighborhood faves Cameo, Glasslands, 285 Kent and Brooklyn Bowl to quadruple the crowd, and thus, the awesomeness.
Friday night began all at once with NY-via-Detroit’s Mess Kid at Cameo, a blend of bass beats, sampled vernacular sounds, dreamy vocal bursts and catchy rhythms.
Next was the main event of the night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. We danced on through British DJ Photek, who is most known for his drum’n'bass numbers. Sure enough, beneath his textural beats and flaring samples, the beat reigned- just enough for the letters on my phone to wiggle around a little.
Then, the moment we’d all been waiting for – at least those of us favoring the experimental end of the electronic spectrum. Gold Panda, the legendary British dj who has truly earned the title of electronic artist. Known for outstanding remixes, but alone renowned for his scathingly original soundscapes that are as complicated at times as they are minimalistic at others. Creeping into your bones to make you move, but haunting your mind with droning, glitch beats and loud white noise. Gold Panda has the pulsing, flying hands of a musical genious and the twinkle in his eye of a madmen who is trying to make things right. Seeing him live was a transcendental experience, and the absolute highlight of BEMF for me.
Saturday I returned to the madness and to a lot more great music, starting with the remarkable Falty DL at Cameo. He had the crowd pumped and going, and for good reason- his beats and samples favor the funky, ushering a whole new realm of dance music.
A quick stop at beloved Public Assembly did not dissapoint- DJ Salva was dubbing it up, driving the crowd nuts and bringing chicks up on stage with him.
Like Friday night, the main event of the night, Nicholas Jaar, was happening that night at Music Hall of Williamsburg. I caught the end of Lauren Flax (one half of BK band CREEP) ‘s excellent set in gearing up for the highly-anticipated Jaarhead.
Unfortunately for the crowd, no one announced that Nicholas Jaar, known for his avante-garde approach to the genre, was pushed an hour and a half back to Dave P could squeeze in a set. Those of us who don’t memorize musicians faces were confused, having expected an entirely different type of music. I didn’t even realize the mistake until days afterwards… this disorganization the only disappointment of the fest.
BUT, it was all okay in the end, because I left to catch Baths perform in his wild way at Glasslands. He is so much fun to see, bringing all of his spunk, energy, and talent into each performance. His music is most definably glitch-hop, but encorporates a lot of vocal harmonies, spoken-words samples and sunny, ambient noises to a pulsating heart-like beat track. The crowd, and Baths himself, albeit both easily excitable, screaming, danced, and raved, ushering BEMF out on a high note.