REVIEW: Brooklyn Electronic Festival 2014

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Photo: A woman prepares her dance moves for the upcoming night at Baby’s All Right on Friday, Nov. 7th.

It would appear that the rhythm finally got me, as I type this review to you in bed surrounded by tissues. That said, a head cold is a small price to pay for the music-packed weekend that this year’s BEMF delivered. Featuring more than 30 artists and 9 venues from across the electronic genre, there was truly something for everyone, and I did what I could to absorb the spectrum amidst spending time with my boyfriend who left for Vegas for a month on Sunday. (Spoiler alert: I came home around 6 AM both days, and he was pissed.) But we’re cool now, and besides, you don’t care about those details of my relationship. THIS IS ABOUT MUSIC.

For starters, I felt like the event had a certain maturity and class about it this year that I didn’t necessarily notice last year. Now, don’t get me wrong, I HAD A BLAST last year. Maybe it’s because I spent most of my time drinking tequila and smoking cigarettes at grungey, DIY venues like 285 Kent which no longer exist, or maybe it’s because I wasn’t as engulfed in the EDM scene as a whole. Whatever it was, things felt different this year, in a good way. I thought the Kinship headquarters (also a new Venue this year) was a great atmosphere in which to be welcomed to the festival. Staff was friendly, composed, and knew what they were talking about, which I’ve found is surprisingly rare at city festivals. The iPhone app was attractive and easy to navigate, and the push notifications definitely came in handy with the frequent announcements of which shows were sold out and where to find venues with free booze. Well organized pre-parties, Boiler Room events and daily Q and A panels made this event one that people will talk about for a long, long time. Bravo, guys.

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5 Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival Shows to See

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Friday marks the beginning of the annual Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, or #BEMF if you plan on being tech savvy this weekend. A wide array of house, trap and experimental artists are coming in from around the world to play a two-day festival taking place at various venues around Williamsburg. Having attended several EDM festivals this summer including Mysteryland, Electric Zoo, Full Moon Fest and Something Wicked, I’m particularly interested in BEMF because it gives me an excuse to see some of my favorites in intimate club settings. Now don’t get me wrong, I LOVE LOVE LOVE an outdoor festival and being surrounded by ridiculously stacked 20 year-old-kids as much as the next person, but there’s something very cool, calm and collected about BEMF. Just because we’re a more refined audience, doesn’t mean we can’t throw down. And on that note, lemme tell you about the shows I plan on hitting this weekend. And maybe we can have a nice, dirty martini together? Because, well, WE CAN.

Remember you can purchase a weekend pass for only $100, a day pass for $55 or just select tickets for individual shows. The full lineup and schedule is available via BEMF’s handy new app. It’s a free download at the app store, so check it out.

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DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist paid tribute to Afrika Bambaataa

cutshadowEveryone’s got that one annoying friend on Facebook who posts endless statuses about “real hip hop.” You know the spiel. Kanye can’t rap. Kendrick’s attempt at beef is weak. Drake is soft. Unless it’s Illmatic, Resonable Doubt, 36 Chambers or Midnight Marauders, it ain’t worth listening to. In other words… they sound as ridiculously closed-minded as a TV dad does when he shakes his fist at those damn kids with their music.

Cultural tropes aside, if there’s anything I’ve heard this year that is honest to god, no BS, REAL HIP-HOP (in all the right ways), it was the tag team set DJ Shadow and Cut Chemist spun this past weekend at Irving Plaza. Oh, and this wasn’t just a tandem set from two of the most acclaimed turntablists of the past three decades… they were spinning records from Afrika Bambaataa’s personal collection, while the the President of the Zulu Nation himself looked onward from the balcony. Including Bambaataa’s own original demo pressing of “Looking for the Perfect Beat.” I think “real hip-hop” dude just splooged. [Read more…]

The DJ Set That Got DJ Shadow Kicked Out of That Cheesy Miami Disco

Another reason to hate Florida:

Before the holidays, Shad was forced to cut his set short by promoters who found it “too future” for the audience at the bottle service club. Since then, the club apologized and Shadow admitted that he “should have never been booked there in the first place.”

OMG… it’s just so EDGY! Listen at your own risk:

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