#Offline, A True Slice of NYC DJ Culture

 

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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.

NYC: #Offline with Q-Tip and Natasha Diggs on Hiatus, Returns 2/19

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!

 

 

 

Video: RBMA Presents ‘What Difference Does It Make? A Film About Making Music’ Trailer

 

Always a leader in guiding the conversation about music, Red Bull Music Academy (RBMA), shares with us their trailer for What Difference Does It Make? A Film About Making Music.

The film “explores the challenges that a life in music can bring,” by “go[ing] beyond music, and ask[ing] questions about life itself,” and features interviews from Brian Eno, Erykah Badu, Nile Rodgers, Q-Tip, Flying Lotus, Thundercat, Rakim, and others.

Look for it to drop February 18.

#Offline Brings Out Erykah Badu & Next Week Celebrates MLK

 

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The first #Offline party of the year was a huge success! And when we say special guests come out, we meant it: last night the inimitable Erykah Badu DJ’ed back to back with Q-Tip until the club closed for the night. Yep. You can stop hitting yourself now.

Next week, we invite you out for a very special #Offline in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr.‘s legacy. Start the holiday weekend early with The Abstract as he spins an eclectic mix of funk and boogie, and be part of what people are calling “the best party in New York.”

Past guests have included Busta Rhymes, Dave Chappelle, Mark Ronson, and Nile Rodgers, to name a few, and you never know who’s going to show up next! Don’t miss out.

Event Details
#Offline MLK Jr. Celebration
w/ Q-Tip & Natasha Diggs + Special Guests

Wednesday, January 15
10PM

Tickets: $15 adv / $20 door
Purchase tickets

Output
74 Wythe Avenue
Brooklyn, NY

Staff Picks of 2013

 

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As 2013 nears its end, we continue our tradition of yearly staff picks summing up our favorite music from the 12 months past. This year is very special as we’ve extended our list makers to include Giant Step fam outside of the staff itself; many thanks to Maiya Norton, Nai Palm (Hiatus Kaiyote), Natasha Diggs, Rich Medina, and DJ Spinna for contributing their takes!

Amongst the most popular favorites were Disclosure‘s Settle, Rhye‘s Woman, James Blake‘s Overgrown, and Hiatus Kaiyote‘s Tawk Tomahawk. Dig into the complete lists and let us know your faves as well!

Giant Step Staff Picks of 2013