Brooklyn was the place to be this 4th of July weekend. Drawing crowds from all over the East Coast to dance until the wee hours of the morning in revelry to some of the most iconic DJs in electronic music. HYTE was by far the favorite, as far as parties went, but when you have a lineup stacked with techno legends such as Dubfire, Chris Liebing, Danny Tenaglia and Ben Klock it is hard to come up with an excuse to why you would miss such an auspicious event.
HYTE is an absolute powerhouse when it comes to the international festival circuit and as I was just coming off two days in Ibiza I was anxious for Sunday’s festivities. Spread over 3 stages throughout an indoor and outdoor venue in Brooklyn, you better believe the HYPE for HYTE was real.
Tucked away in Sunset Park, close to the bay, lay the Brooklyn Hangar. There’s always something so authentic about driving through a decaying industrial jungle to find quality electronic music. The day began with a very minimal line at the gate and somewhat pathetic attendance for what was expected for such a stacked lineup.
The stage looked like as if someone photoshopped a small club set up and placed it into an abandoned parking lot. The sound quality was great if you were within the speaker radius but as soon as you moved away from the stage area the sound was lost. The rocky gravel filled warehouse yard was hardly a pleasure to navigate, as tripping over softball sized rocks on your way to the restrooms was increasingly difficult as the crowd rapidly multiplied.
The thought using a festival porta-potty is and always will be something that I loath, but unless you had VIP the more difficult was getting toilet paper. Yes toilet paper. A small concessions stand was at the wing of the restroom area, attended by a merchant who insisted on leaving a tip if you wanted some single quilted tissue luxury. I watched countless party goers engaged into high tempered rants storming away from the restrooms.
Despite the rocky amenities, HYTE always brings the best of the best talent.
Berlin-based DJ, Caleb Calloway had the pleasure of kicking of the 14-hour fiesta in the concrete jungle, quickly making the dancefloor work with his high energy set and seamlessly turned over the outdoor duties to Dubfire. As someone who has witnessed Dubfire’s live production HYBRID just recently at Movement, I had the highest of expectations to which he somewhat had disappointed by not being as intense as I had remembered. To his defense, usually sunset style sets don’t go that way so I waited in anticipation for him to make up for it in his b2b set.
As the sun set over the New York skyline, the Brooklyn hangar opened its doors to the massive industrial stage. Three enormous LED fixtures suspended above the crowd, with a wall to wall LED board in the backdrop behind Pan-Pot quickly made up for the disappointing outdoor venue. The duo from Berlin gave us all a quick lesson in German Techno, as well as playing one the hottest summer tracks, “In The Reds” by Eric Prydz under his Cirez D alias. So far, they were the highlight of my HYTE experience.
New York native Danny Tenaglia then graced the Hangar, only to show us exactly why he’s held so many residencies. Papa Tenaglia picked up from where Pan-Pot left off and continuing building the energy with that garage techno sound further into the night.
I’m pretty sure Chris Liebing sold is soul to play unbelievable music, to an angel or a devil I’m not sure but he took us out of this world. After being off from his usual rockin’ self outdoors, Dubfire joined forces with the CLR boss for one of the best B2B experiences I’ve had. Combining that progressive sinister baseline with a sinister high-hat that sounds like steam being released from a raging locomotive is one of the best ways to dance until you can no longer move your sweaty lifeless body. Liebing staring blankly into the crowd while simultaneously nodding his head vigorously to the bass, is one images that will never leave my mind when reminiscing on this blissful night.
All in all, HYTE was one hell of an experience. Yes, the restroom situation sucked, and the outdoor stage left something to be desired, but the music, production and sound was beyond incredible inside that Hangar. Paying 75$ for those sets that were unleashed by Pan Pot, Danny T, and Dubfire b2b Liebing in some tricked out warehouse in Sunset Park seems like a purchase I’ll be making every damn time.
See you next year, HYTE.
Written by FLVR correspondent, John Higgins.