The Ten Best Artists at Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival This Weekend

Mykki Blanco

This weekend, the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival will take over Williamsburg for the fifth year running. (So it's technically the Williamsburg Electronic Music Festival, but who's counting when you're drunk and dancing to Nick Catchdubs at 4 a.m.?) Last year's Festival brought Matthew Dear, Beats In Space's Tim Sweeney, and HudMo before he was TNGHT. MeanRed Productions, the multifarious company behind BEMF, kept the style and structure largely the same this year (two words: food carts), bringing back Cubic Zirconia's Nick Hook and rolling out Nadastrom, Gold Panda, and Nicolas Jaar. Think of it as the anti-Ultra, or perhaps Electronic Zoo. This year, however, there's going to be an all-ages stage at 285 Kent, and as of now there are still tickets available.

See Also:
- The People of Electric Zoo
- Electric Zoo Gets Sweaty on Randall's Island
"It's just a lot of bleeps and bloops," a former co-worker of mine said when I asked him about electronic music, so in case you're of a similar mindset, we've provided a guide to the 10 essential acts you should see on Friday and Saturday night. You don't really have an excuse -- since the venues (including Glasslands, Cameo, Brooklyn Bowl, Public Assembly, and Music Hall of Williamsburg) are just a few blocks from each other -- but you do have the right to a disco nap and making an entrance in your snow boots free of judgment.

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Q&A: Girl Unit's Philip Gamble On Missy And Timbaland's Glory Days, The Suburbs, And Why Ciara Is 'Crazy Post-Human'

Philip Gamble—a.k.a. Girl Unit—joined the constantly growing cast of post-dubstep producers to come out of the U.K. a little over the a year ago with the release of his EP IRL. The debut—which came out on Night Slugs, the experimental dance imprint run by the London DJs Bok Bok and L-Vis 1990—was full of expertly crafted, drumline-driven bangers. Taking cues from the clap-tracks behind Chicago juke, the chopped rhythms of hip-hop, and the wailing synths of electro-house, Girl Unit has since released a slew of remixes and original productions, including his signature piece "Wut." The track is indicative of his whole style, really: the DJ's obvious love for pairing echoing 808s and glitchy melodies with keen hip-hop sensibility makes his role in the diaspora of "post-dubstep" sound a lot like something that could be described as New Wave R&B.

We talked to Gamble about his introduction to dance music, love of hip-hop, Ciara worship, and upcoming performance at the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival.

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Live: Kid Sister Headlines, But DJs (And The Crowd) Rule At The Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival

Apparently it was a good time. Pics by Jeff Meltz/THECULTUREOFME, more below.
Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival
Music Hall of Williamsburg/Public Assembly
Saturday, December 18

Better than: Last year's. (Seriously.)

A beer exploded on Public Assembly's stage Saturday night. It was a party trick in this case --- a direct result of "Samir's Theme" booming through the speakers of the club's grimy back room and one girl's resulting need to spastically jump around while holding her half-opened beverage. Three people were caught in the foamy downpour, though the only one who noticed cheered while shaking her hair dry; Star Eyes, the DJ and instigator of it all, likewise remained totally clueless behind her turntables. Multiply that by a couple hundred and you've got this year's Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival.

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Kid Sister, Penguin Prison, Javelin, Etc. Tapped For The 2010 Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival

BEMF flier.jpg
Now in its third year, the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival is fairly self-explanatory as these things go, cramming as many DJs, producers, and dance-music luminaries into one warehouse as possible (the Juan Maclean headlined last year's model), only this year they're moving up in the world, both in quantity and quality: BEMF 2010, set for December 18, will take over both Public Assembly and the Music Hall of Williamsburg. That Kid Sister is headlining seems to indicate no one's taking themselves too seriously here, which is a relief, actually. The full lineup as of now:

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"Happy House" Still Kills at the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival

The Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival (BEMF), obviously inspired by Detroit's legendary DEMF, returned for its second year Saturday night: The 12-hour event at the Old American Can Factory consisted of a band/DJ setup outdoors, a smaller DJ platform indoors, five port-o-potties, and a modest food stand for those who chose electro over dinner.

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Details On the 2009 Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival


Information remains scant on the super minimal page for the 2009 Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival, scheduled for August 8 at everybody's favorite BK venue the Old American Can Factory, a/k/a the Yard, a/k/a the old Issue Project Room space, a/k/a probably the only inhabitable lawn along all of the Gowanus. Last week, the fest announced two headliners--the Juan MacLean and RJD2--and the date and time, but otherwise kept pretty much mum about what they had in store. Pitchfork seems to have cracked the code a bit, adding joke-soul/domestic-disco duo Free Blood, 8-bit 8-year veteran New York two-piece Shy Child, Home Video, Adventure, and the Miami-based Awesome New Republic to the lineup. The whole thing's slated for the second Saturday in August, and is set to run to the uncomfortable hour of 4AM. Tickets are still available here, should you not much value your sleep that weekend. [Pitchfork]