The weekend of July 12th had been a long time coming. The lineup for the second annual Hyte Park festival had been announced months before, and tickets were selling like hotcakes. Hyte Park only just found its way to New York City a year ago, but it has already found itself a loyal base of thousands of techno-loving fans all across the Big Apple, all ready to empty out their wallets for another big weekend on the island.
Governor’s Beach Club is always a treat. I’ve been more than a handful of times now, and there’s just nothing else like being able to stand in the (fake) sand with a cold beer, drinking in the luscious beats and gazing across the river at the almost unnaturally serene Manhattan landscape. Any show at Governor’s is likely to be an enjoyable one, even if the music isn’t your cup of tea. This weekend, however, the music was exactly my cup of tea.
Oh, a quick side-note: Can you guys please lower your drink prices? Like, pretty please? I remember coming here two years ago and paying $7 for craft beer. Now it costs about $70 for a Coors-Light inspired buzz. Honestly, it’s getting a little out of hand. Anyways, back to the review.
The club usually sets up only the main floor. Hyte, however, with its large lineup boasting some of the biggest names in tech-house and techno, went the two stage route this time around. I should actually say three stages, as there was a little loading dock area with some speakers set up and a few local names spinning some tunes. It wasn’t ever very packed, but it was a nice touch.
The main stage, as we all know, is huge. A gigantic concrete dance floor is surrounded by a gorgeous high end sound system and some great visual tech. Not many changes this year – at least not that I noticed – but as the saying goes, “if it ain’t broke…” you catch my drift. More interesting was the second stage, which had been setup in a way I haven’t seen it before. The tent was all the way across on the second lawn behind the bathroom area. The dance floor was really quite smooth for being set up on a lawn, and the entire tent was decorated with these cool sort of oriental parasols – truthfully I have no idea what they’re called, but it’s always nice seeing unique decorations. The second tent was host to fewer DJs than the main floor, thus allowing each a slightly longer set. Names like Mind Against and Robert Dietz took over that area of the club, and the second stage ended up being just as great of an experience as the main stage. There was plenty of dancing room and the DJs were on point the entire time. It was the best two-stage setup I’ve ever seen at Governor’s Beach Club.
Now, as I elaborated previously, the main stage was in its usual form; loud and visual-heavy. It was wonderful. The first day featured some more tech-house oriented DJs, such as Radio Slave, Loco Dice, and Paul Ritch. Radio Slave, as I expected, stole the show. The crowd ate his set up and afterward the only thing anyone was talking about was his set. Loco Dice was on point as usual, but to me he was simply overshadowed by the awesomeness of Radio Slave.
Day two was my day; techno day. The main stage was loaded with nothing but heavy techno – Monoloc, Pan-Pot, Nicole Moudaber, Chris Liebing and Tommy Four Seven. The day went smoothly up through Nicole’s set, but unfortunately technical issues caused the sound to cut out on Nicole’s set halfway through. She looked simply bummed as it happened, and while she played the rest of her set out nicely, it seemed her entire set just lost its energy. It’s a bummer when a great DJ’s experience is marred by technical difficulties, but we all know we’ll be seeing Nicole again soon.
As per usual with my festival reviews, the set of the festival gets its own paragraph, and this time that honor goes to the bearer of the techno hammer: Chris Liebing. His set was just pure heavy techno excellence. His visuals were awesomely trippy and strange, and for an hour and 45 minutes we were just smattered with kicks, hats and fluttery mids. I know there were tracks I recognized in his set, but for the most part, it was new music to me. That’s the thing I love about Chris; he’s always digging up tunes that you’ve never heard but you already love. Chris smashed it out and T47 took the stage at 11.
Almost as soon as T47 took the stage the rain hit. It had been expected all weekend that there would be some sort of rain, but we had gotten lucky and seen nothing but sun for the full festival. Tommy is an incredible DJ and kept the energy up, but the rain cleared the entire crowd out. You could walk to the front of the stage without bumping into a single person. An unfortunate ending to an otherwise sublime weekend.
All-in-all, Hyte was spectacular. Every moment was pure bliss both music and vibe wise. The crowd was excellent, the tunes were on point, and as we walked back to the ferry we spoke about how we couldn’t wait for next year’s event. Until then, I’m sure we’ll see a lot of these DJs back in the city, and I can’t wait.
Photo credit: Silversquares
Originally written for ENL by Daniel Nusdeo