It’s been five years since the Brooklyn Electronic Music Festival first popped up in hipster central (for all who weren’t aware, that means Williamsburg). Around this time of year, the lull occurs; we dread going home for the holidays, to visit our families and to see old friends who we don’t keep up with. However, between two of the biggest party nights of the year for New York (Halloween and New Year’s, duh), we can rest assured that BEMF will provide the music and atmosphere to keep things lively when we need it most.
The festival showcases both new up and coming artists, as well as those more established in the underground and mainstream scenes, for two nights of jam-packed sets with BPMs and lights that will keep your heart beating, legs dancing, eyes moving and fists pumping ‘til the early hours of the morning. The festival itself expanded over a variety of venues in North Williamsburg, including Glasslands, Music Hall of Williamsburg, Brooklyn Bowl, and Public Assembly.
This isn’t your average Skrillex or Bassnectar concert, though. BEMF strives to provide real electronic dance music, not the stuff that has been mainstreamed, with each performer guaranteed to put on a stellar show accompanying installations by the contributing artists that have partnered with the event to create visual ambience.
Just like Oreos and milk, gays and dancing just go together. This year’s event featured members of the LGBT community such as the fabulous trans-rapper Mykke Blanco, who’s been gaining lots of buzz on the music blogs, and the lovely and legendary DJ Lauren Flax.
Flax herself played a solo set late Saturday night into Sunday morning at the Music Hall of Williamsburg in to a sold out audience. As a girl who refuses to let stereotypes get in the way, she laughed off the age-old question that every female musician gets asked at least once in her life, “How does it feel being the girl in a male dominated scene?” Though all the big names in electronic music are male (think Tiesto and Dead Mau5), Flax doesn’t acknowledge it. “I get to work with amazing, talented and powerful women who are also widely known music vets—such as Peaches, JD Samson, Sia and Lauren Dillard,” who is part of her darker cinematic music-esqe group CREEP, she points out.
Flax discussed her plans to release an album early next year, putting her solo career on hold to focus on CREEP. Artistically, the group is “really creating something meaningful” for her, she says. A Brooklyn native by way of Detroit, Flax is humble for someone on the international stage, having performed as a DJ with festival favorite Fischerspooner and released countless remixes with other well known ladies in the biz.
We can expect to be hearing a lot more of her musical endeavors in the future, but for now, we wait for the upcoming release of her anticipated work with CREEP.