Everyone knows that NYC is the spot for creativity and cultural diversity but not everyone knows that NYC is also one of the top spots for a thriving underground and up-and-coming music scene. Among the towering skyscrapers, finance bros, and busy streets, the city’s up-and-coming music culture thrives and resonates with hidden innovative energy.
From pop-up warehouse parties to high production performances, the city has something for everyone. NYC’s music culture is as diverse as its population. It’s a dynamic landscape that embraces a multitude of subgenres, from deep house to techno to experimental electronic. The culture is marked by inclusivity, with fans and artists from different cultures and backgrounds all connecting to celebrate a shared passion for sound.
One of the defining aspects of NYC’s electronic scene is its fusion of global influence. The city’s multicultural makeup allows for a beautiful exchange of musical ideas, resulting in a sound that represents global and cultural nuances. It is constantly evolving. Whether it’s the Afro House echoing through Brooklyn warehouses or Disco House music reverberating in Lower East Side, the city provides a blank but inspirational canvas for DJs to experiment and freely express themselves.
Though many probably would prefer for this scene to stay as underground as possible, I think it’s important to share some of my favorite spots for those who truly appreciate good music, community, and dance.
Where to Catch the Best Shows
Let’s explore some of the best spots and their unique vibe.
In the heart of Brooklyn, Elsewhere is a music venue that has multiple rooms including a rooftop, a spacious main hall, an intimate zone known as the “Zone One”, and a hidden loft. With its eclectic bookings and cutting-edge sound system, Elsewhere offers a platform for both established electronic artists and up-and-coming talents.
A staple in Brooklyn’s music scene, Good Room is an intimate venue that is made up of two rooms, The Good Room and The Bad Room. It is known for its superior sound and diverse lineups. Here, you can catch both local and international acts in an environment that fosters a sense of community. (PS Team Bad Room)
Basement is a key player in NYC’s underground music scene. Located in Ridgewood, Queens, this venue is renowned for its commitment to hosting a wide range of electronic and techno shows. With a minimalistic setup and a focus on the music itself, Basement provides an immersive experience that resonates with those who truly love music.
Tucked away in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood, TBA Brooklyn is an intimate hot spot for electronic music lovers and features emerging talents and local DJs.
You’ll see a common theme in this article, and that is Brooklyn.. Public Records in BK is a multidimensional space that is the perfect blend of a bar, a record shop and a cafe. It features a high-end sound system along with carefully curated collections of vinyl records. Be sure to catch a show there or go there to simply enjoy amazing vegan food and great music.
Located in Ridgewood, Queens, Nowadays is another example of a space that is unique blend of a bar, restaurant, and outdoor space that hosts a variety of musical events, including the famous Mister Saturday Night and Mister Sunday. The venue’s inclusive atmosphere makes it a welcoming destination for all.
H0l0 is an underground spot located in Ridgewood, Queens and is known for its experimental techno and electronic music. Hosting events that push sonic boundaries, this space showcases avant-garde artists in an intimate setting that’s all about the music.
While not a traditional venue, The Lot Radio is a vital component of NYC’s underground scene. Broadcasting live DJ sets and pop-up performances from a repurposed shipping container in Brooklyn, this unique platform connects listeners to the pulse of the city’s electronic music culture.
This event space in Brooklyn’s industrial district hosts some of the most noteworthy shows in the city. With its massive outdoor area, indoor warehouse, and state-of-the-art lighting and visuals, Avant Gardner delivers an exceptional production experience that’s hard to match. Though it has become more of a mainstream space, it is important to add it to the list due to the high volume of top artist’s that perform there.
Supporting Emerging Artists and Experiences
To truly immerse yourself in NYC’s music scene, be sure to follow local collectives, artist groups, and niche labels. Check out websites and apps like Dice, Resident Advisor and follow accounts like Teksupport to keep an eye out for underground events, hidden parties, pop-up shows, and after-hours. NYC’s electronic scene thrives on the support of its community so I welcome you to find yours!