Highlights of the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival's 2016 Season

Highlights of the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival's 2016 Season

Conglomerate clubs and secret warehouses

The Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (BEMF) has been taking place in our beloved borough since 2008. This nearly two week long event consists of countless parties, shows, and panel events, and has established itself as Brooklyn's most influential event for established and emerging artists in the electronic scene.

Spanning across ten days and eight venues, the 2016 season encompassed dozens of artists including Róisín Murphy, Amtrac, FaltyDL, Volvox, King Britt, The Black Madonna, Robert Hood, and many more. Panel presenters included representatives from THUMP, Discwoman, House of Yes, AdHoc, and Stress Entertainment.

I have seen events floating around my news feed for the past two years in relation to BEMF, but 2016 was the season I finally made it out and partook in the festivities.

Wednesday, November 10, I trekked to Output earlier than I had ever set foot in the club. Amtrac was spinning in the main room from 11pm - 12:30 am as part of the Birds That Fly label night, and I did not want to miss a second of it. The club was emptier than usual, maybe partially to do with the fact that we had all just learned who the President Elect was, and I much preferred the space in this atmosphere.

With all the room I could possibly need to dance out the stress I was feeling, I grabbed my best friend, a drink, and hit the floor. Amtrac's set was exactly what I needed in that moment. He moved the crowd through different house nuances, from dark and deep tracks to soulful disco inspired numbers. The highs and lows seamlessly flowed into one another, and carried the dancing audience through to the end of the set.

The following night, I got the chance to catch up with FaltyDL before his set in The Panther Room. While waiting for him in Halcyon, I was treated to a bombastic Latin infused dance set from the house DJ, and an incredibly enthusiastic group of bar patrons. When Drew (Andrew Lustman, FaltyDL, arrived to chat, we moved up to the roof, where we would actually be able to hear one another. We talked through the role of an artist in times of political unrest and the creative process before I let him catch up with friends and family. I hung around The Panther Room for a bit before calling it a night; the room was packed and soaked with the deep bass hits and ethereal synths of a deep house set.

My festival highlight, however, was the blowout warehouse party presented by Unter and BEMF on Saturday, featuring Robert Hood, Bryan Kasenic, and Volvox. The party, who's location was not revealed to ticket holders until the day of, was held in the industrial warehouse section of Bushwick. Attendees had to walk down a long and suspenseful hallway after getting cleared by security, opening up into a large room of exposed brick with high ceilings and tall speaker cabinets lining the walls.

The lighting design was impeccable - swirling patterns and changing colors synched with the music and truly enhanced the space. A fog machine filled the dance floor as patrons poured in, creating a hazy effect on the lights and blurring your vision. Industrial techno boomed from the speakers, and created a homeostasis for the sonic aesthetic of the evening.

I weaved through the crowd with my Club-Mate vodka in hand, and danced through each crevice of the space. Patrons clad in nearly entirely black attire spent more time dancing to the music than talking to one another, which I greatly appreciated. It was the perfect rager ending to a long and difficult week.

All photos by Ross Figlerski.

Cover Image Credit: Ross Figlerski

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I'm A Woman And You Can't Convince Me Breastfeeding In Public Is OK In 2019

Sorry, not sorry.


Lately, I have seen so many people going off on social media about how people shouldn't be upset with mothers breastfeeding in public. You know what? I disagree.

There's a huge difference between being modest while breastfeeding and just being straight up careless, trashy and disrespectful to those around you. Why don't you try popping out a boob without a baby attached to it and see how long it takes for you to get arrested for public indecency? Strange how that works, right?

So many people talking about it bring up the point of how we shouldn't "sexualize" breastfeeding and seeing a woman's breasts while doing so. Actually, all of these people are missing the point. It's not sexual, it's just purely immodest and disrespectful.

If you see a girl in a shirt cut too low, you call her a slut. If you see a celebrity post a nude photo, you call them immodest and a terrible role model. What makes you think that pulling out a breast in the middle of public is different, regardless of what you're doing with it?

If I'm eating in a restaurant, I would be disgusted if the person at the table next to me had their bare feet out while they were eating. It's just not appropriate. Neither is pulling out your breast for the entire general public to see.

Nobody asked you to put a blanket over your kid's head to feed them. Nobody asked you to go feed them in a dirty bathroom. But you don't need to basically be topless to feed your kid. Growing up, I watched my mom feed my younger siblings in public. She never shied away from it, but the way she did it was always tasteful and never drew attention. She would cover herself up while doing it. She would make sure that nothing inappropriate could be seen. She was lowkey about it.

Mindblowing, right? Wait, you can actually breastfeed in public and not have to show everyone what you're doing? What a revolutionary idea!

There is nothing wrong with feeding your baby. It's something you need to do, it's a part of life. But there is definitely something wrong with thinking it's fine to expose yourself to the entire world while doing it. Nobody wants to see it. Nobody cares if you're feeding your kid. Nobody cares if you're trying to make some sort of weird "feminist" statement by showing them your boobs.

Cover up. Be modest. Be mindful. Be respectful. Don't want to see my boobs? Good, I don't want to see yours either. Hard to believe, I know.

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Life's Too Short To Waste On Things You're Not Passionate About, So Just Buy Those Concert Tickets

Or don't buy them and spend your life wishing you did. Work and school are really important and not temporary or superficial at all, right?


The concert of the year is quickly approaching and the more time that goes by, the more expensive those tickets are going to be. Do not keep telling yourself that "money is tight", or "it will be hard to cover the shift at work", or "school is really stressful right now". Yeah, yeah, and the sky is blue.

We all have obligations, and the whole venue is going to be filled with people that are blowing off their responsibilities and enjoying life in that moment. Someone that is constantly worried about work, school, or finances is not the same person who has the best stories to tell the next time everyone is standing around the water cooler.

Life is simply too short to waste on things that you aren't passionate about. Just go for it, already!

Now, this may be the typical opinion that one would expect from a millennial. Though regardless of someone's age, where anyone comes from or what they find value in, nobody should want to miss out on something that is clearly at this level of appeal, while also held at such little risk of regret. One day of work will not send any boss over the edge, and missing any time in class can be made up in no time. As for that oh-so-tight budget, ask yourself this question... How many unnecessary purchases have I made this month?


Nobody needs the extra trip to Starbucks, the snack when filling up at the gas station, or the brand name clothes that looked much cuter on the mannequin. If the responsibility of where to spend a paycheck is in question, then the cut back on preventable spending should also be considered.

Concerts are completely necessary. The release that comes from amazing live music, an electric environment, and the bonding between friends is all combined to be an experience unlike any other in life. Nobody ever reminisces on a live concert event and promptly remembers how frustrated their boss was for taking the day off.


Granted, the exact moment of purchase can be a bit painful. Just like a ripping off a band-aid, that discomfort can be aided by clinching your teeth and yelling... but with excitement! Scream! You're going! Circle that date on a calendar, start a count-down of days, and don't dare to think about all of the responsible things that are supposed to happen on that day. Opportunities for money and extra hours will always present themselves in the future, but there is only one date to see that band, concert, or festival that has been calling to you from the back of your mind for too long.

Start a new tradition and make memories with friends. The atmosphere at a concert is unlike any other, and the people that attend are just as indescribable as they are positive and encouraging. Having a bond that is shared between two music enthusiasts is something that can only be understood by someone who has had that experience. Make an entire day out of it! Get there early to tailgate and listen to the best pump-up jams on the way there. Play corn-hole in the parking lot and meet some new people. It's not like there's any work or school to do, right? Make this day off worth it!


As if any more reasons need to be provided, always remember that the world can be a crazy and unusual place, and nobody ever knows when the last chance to do or see a certain thing will be. In 2017, the world lost Chris Cornell (of Soundgarden and Audioslave), Chester Bennington (of Linkin Park), and Tom Petty, among others. All three of these artists were on tour the year of their tragic deaths. Any fans that missed their last chance to see them play live in their nearest big city is no doubt regretting it.

Do not make the mistake of one day having to say "I wish I saw them when I had the chance". Ask any My Chemical Romance fan what they would give to go back in time just to make the irresponsible decision of buying concert tickets on a college student budget. Nobody ever knows when a band may break up, or when tragedy will strike, so make sure to attend all the concerts as possible while they are still around.

There may not always be "a next time" so when that big show is scheduled near you... do not hesitate. Learn from the ghost of missed opportunities. Nobody ever knows when their last chance to do anything will be, so live life the way it was meant to be lived and have as much fun as possible while there is still fun to be had. Buy those tickets and have something to look forward to. You owe it to yourself, and you will not regret it. Have fun.

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