Photos by Eddie Pearson
Words by RKHTY
#Offline‘s weekly celebration of music bid farewell and played its final note in full style last night. Over the past nine months, the incomparable Q-Tip and 45 vinyl game changer Natasha Diggs have graced the patrons of Output with nostalgic gems after gems. And legends have guest starred at the night as well, including the likes of Grandmaster Flash, DJ Spinna, and Funk Master Flex, to name just a few.
From the booming sound system, to the varying spectrum of partygoers, you would never know it was a Wednesday night. And if you’ve ever been to #Offline before, you know you’ve always left feeling damn good. Wednesday never felt so good.
by Lisa Russell
If you’re in the know, you know that #Offline’s Wednesday night party featuring live sets with Tribe Called Quest‘s front man Q-Tip and Natasha Diggs plus special guests is a party not to be missed. And if you’re really in the know, you know that #Offline was the place to be last night to witness legendary Grandmaster Flash kill it on the decks, proving he is the definitive master of the ones and twos.
Old school hip hop bodes well at the Brooklyn-based venue Output where its dress code is “Brooklyn is the new black.” The venue, with two dance floors, two full bars, and a dope outdoor space is the first dance club in Williamsburg and it prides itself on being as real as it gets. There is no bottle service and you won’t find a barrage of cameras as distractions. Instead you’ll witness a communal space where love of music and intimacy with the resident and guest DJs supersedes love of hype. The venue is so real that in the small chance you leave behind one of your valuables, you can write their lost and found at ilostmyshit (at) outputclub.com.
Words by Korby Benoit
Whenever I listen to music enthusiasts describe New York City’s hallowed nightlife history, I’m often reminded of how this city has a storied past as an incubator for cutting edge music on a global scale.
In the early days of hip-hop, partygoers would travel from parts remote corners of the five boroughs and greater tri-state area, all in the name of pure and undiluted DJ culture. Foreigners would come from abroad to get a glimpse of the likes of Afrika Bambaataa, Jazzy Jay and Red Alert display their skills and extensive knowledge of music.
In 2014 New York is saturated with an assortment of smaller bars and lounges; many of which do not place an emphasis on music culture. DJs hired by these venues can easily feel stifled since many of these establishments require their DJs to play a strict regimen of top 40 tunes. Perhaps the playing field is also made a bit more difficult by a few less than polished DJs who haven’t honed the visceral mechanics of engaging a crowd through sound.
#Offline, Q-Tip’s weekly Brooklyn party is by all means a destination for people who simply want the DJ to take them on a ride. Tucked away in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, Output is a DJ-centered venue that boasts one of the best sound systems in all of NYC. On my visit to last night’s installment, I caught an eclectic and immaculate set performed by resident opener Natasha Diggs, who gracefully ushered in our main man as an expert vibe setter.
It was a true pleasure to witness Q-Tip perform in his hometown as the master dance floor conductor he is, playing a vigorous set of funk, disco, and soul, over and over compelling a packed dance floor to stay on its toes. Output’s sound system reminded me how professional recordings are designed to perform at venues, as the sounds cut the air strong and clean, establishing musical atmosphere. And I definitely wasn’t alone in my appreciation as the venue attracts a crowd of people who also appreciate the music and how it is being presented.
If a true slice of NYC DJ culture is what you seek, take a visit to this Wednesday night gem and trust that you are in good hands.
Due to the impending snow storm this week and all around crappy weather, #Offline at Output is on hiatus. We’re saving our energy, and Q-Tip, Natasha Diggs and Giant Step will be back next Wednesday on February 19th.
All advanced tickets for this week’s party (2/12) will be refunded.
Stay bundled up and warm, and we’ll see you all next week!