This Independence Day weekend, New York’s finest patriots donned their onyx, charcoal, and ebony-spangled clothing for two days of soul-pounding techno.
The mini-festival was held July 2nd and 3rd at Brooklyn-Hangar on 52nd Street in Brooklyn, NY.
HYTE is a highly esteemed global event series with pop-ups in seven major cities including: Amsterdam, Beirut, Berlin, Croatia, New York, and weekly events at Amnesia in Ibiza. HYTE is known for a heavily stocked lineup from major headliners like Chris Liebing and Pan-Pot, to more Underground artists like Caleb Calloway and Paul Raffaele.
For the past several years in NYC, the event was hosted by RPM Presents, on Governor’s Island, and named HYTE Park. This year’s venue change raised some eyebrows as ticket-holders questioned how the venue would impact the vibe overall. After talking to numerous attendees, all said they were happy with the new venue.
Brooklyn Hangar had a unique layout in comparison to other New York venues:
I arrived on Saturday and decided to take a little tour and get a feel for the space. The main warehouse floor was exactly how I pictured it. Table service on the far left, VIP on the far right, stage front. I looked around and my eyes settled to the back left corner where I saw a stairway leading to another room. Naturally, I had to wander down the stairs to the basement.
The basement was like an uninhabited secret treasure. I will admit, the effects in the basement were junior grade compared to the main room, but the availability of such an intimate setting was extremely refreshing. There was space to sit down if need be, and the smoke from the machine, combined with the darkness of the basement actually gave more privacy than you’d expect to find.
Nothing is worse than feeling trapped inside a hot venue and having to trade music for fresh air. Outside the warehouse there was the “Open Air” stage, bar, food, and even a little shop to buy clothes. (I bought an Amy Winehouse shirt… #noragrets.) In the center of the area was a slab of concrete, which overtime, became the forum of the festival. The outside stayed open after all the open-air DJs played, and broadcasted the main room set outside.
My first experience with the outside stage was for Orazio Rispo. The area was open and breezy, I was standing on grass (rare for New York…), and the rolling lights on stage were a warm golden orange. I unexpectedly heard this velvety, ambient techno and was completely sucked in. It was early evening, and I was still adjusting from the real world to techno world. This was exactly what I wanted.
The highly anticipated B2B with Marcel Dettman and Ben Klock was cancelled, forcing Klock to play solo. While many people were disappointed, once he played, I don’t think anyone was heartbroken anymore. With the amount of shows that I attend, it takes a lot to make my jaw drop. But I was fan girling. Hard. Ben Klock was by far my favorite set of the entire weekend. If you’re in need of some techno that makes your bones vibrate, it’s Klock.
Following his set, Klock went B2B with Kenny Dope. The duo’s drastically varying sounds (techno vs. House/soul, hip-hop, funk) had a lot of attendees scratching their heads at the notion of such a left-field B2B. I had no such reservations after the first few tracks. K-Dope threw down as hard as I’ve ever seen or heard him do so before. I have to say, it was pretty dope.
I decided to go outside for some much needed air and a Red Bull. Drink prices were as expected for New York. Prices were lower than a Manhattan club, but higher than festivals like Movement in Detroit. However, I loved every drop of my $7.00 Redbull. (Until my friend ran away with the rest of it.)
The crowd was cool. What’s great about the less mainstream genres like techno, is that events are mainly comprised of diehard fans, and not idiots just trying to get wasted. There were definitely some new faces around who were delighted to ask questions to learn more as well.
The size of the event was perfect. It was large enough that I wasn’t constantly bumping into the same people, but small enough that I could leave my friends and be able to find them later. Not to mention there was steady cell service. (At least for AT&T.)
I started day two off with a lovely view of Chris Liebing’s back on the open-air stage. (you can see me awkwardly ruining this awesome picture of Liebing on the right side.) He adjusted his intensity to his early set time but stayed true to his sound. While day one consistently kept a fairly open area for the outside stage, Liebing had it packed. Understandably. It’s Chris Liebing…
I had the pleasure of seeing Pan-Pot live for the first time, and I definitely couldn’t have asked for a better view. (I mean, look at those backs.)
Danny Tenaglia showed his darker [techno] side from his usual house-heavy style. I’ve seen Tenaglia many times, but this set was absolutely incredible. Many people [aside from myself]were saying this was the most insane set he’s ever played. He went pretty dark while managing to keep his signature DT/NYC style. Slap yourself on the wrist if you missed it.
The festival closed out with Dubfire B2B Chris Liebing (listening to the set again while writing this) and the energy was perfect. Just enough intensity to commence an amazing two days.
Independence Day Weekend was loaded with incredible events, but I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else. HYTE will be returning to NYC for Hallo-weekend [yeah, I used that word.] I highly recommend going. #YESTOALL that is techno.
Please be sure to tag HYTE on social media!
Instagram : @HYTEofficial
– Written by Bliss Forest, with Eunyce Kim & Arthur Vee