[EVENT REVIEW] John Summit's Off The Grid Records Enthralls NYC With 3-Night Brooklyn Mirage Takeover
While he is primarily known to the public as a tech house producer and DJ, John Summit is demonstrating the chops to be much more than that. The rising superstar, who founded house/techno label Off The Grid Records, curated a three-night takeover of The Brooklyn Mirage last week – a privilege reserved for the industry’s elitist talent.
Wielding a combination of feel-good house beats with serotonin-inducing vocals, darker techno vibes, and even some drum & bass, Summit had NYC ravers dancing into the wee hours of the morning each consecutive show, from Thursday, June 1st to Saturday, June 3rd.
Check out iEDM’s review of John Summit’s Off The Grid takeover at The Brooklyn Mirage below.
With John Summit’s popularity on the rise, Off The Grid is quickly becoming a label that house and techno fans look to when searching for exciting new releases. This ever-growing platform allows Summit to share the spoils of his success with other up-and-coming artists.
The OTG takeover was initially scheduled for Friday and Saturday nights, with simultaneous performances in The Brooklyn Mirage and a smaller adjacent venue (The Kings Hall).
After each night sold out in short order, Summit also added a pre-party performance on Thursday night, for which he was joined by Rebūke, Max Styler, and Dantiez.
Summit brought along Rebūke, Volaris, Kamino, Yousef, Sidney Charles, and Jeff Sorkowitz for support on Friday night. His disc jockey companions for Saturday night included Layton Giordani, Danny Avila, Adam Sellouk, Chloé Calliet and Ky William.
Vibes ranged from light tech house to daunting techno and everything in between. However, while it is always nice to get exposure to newer and growing artists, it was clear once Summit took the stage in the Mirage that all attendees were there to see one man.
No Rules On A Bender
As electronic dance music grows in popularity, “mainstream” ravers are being introduced to a wider variety of styles and sub-genres that are reaching broader appeal. Many artists have carved out a comfortable niche in the industry, finding a sound that works for them and sticking to it. While some fans will attend an event hoping or expecting to only hear one style throughout the show, John Summit’s followers are quickly learning to dispose of any preconceived notions they have going into each performance.
Having already made a habit of venturing into the tenebrous, techno-infested waters that lie beyond “mainstream” tech house, Summit has recently been dipping his toes into dropping bass music at his shows. These endeavors are presumably inspired by his b2b sets in the past year with dubstep heavyweight Subtronics at festivals like Electric Forest, Lost Lands, and EDC. This versatility and willingness to experiment make each song enthralling because the crowd never knows what to expect when the drop arrives.
On Friday night, Summit jumpstarted his set with the original mix of “Where You Are” – a collaboration with singer Hayla – which has gone viral over the last few months, compounding Summit’s already expanding popularity.
From that moment on, the Mirage’s speakers served as the canvas for Summit’s notoriously free-form art. The 28-year-old Chicago native came prepared with all kinds of stimuli, including unreleased songs from various artists and genres, as well as a full production package with all the lights, lasers, and graphics one could possibly desire.
In a night filled with heaters from beginning to end, it was hard to pick out only a few top tracks of the evening – but that will never stop us from trying. The Beatles made a brief appearance when Summit played out a tech house remix of their famous song “Come Together.” He then blessed the crowd with “Reflection,” an ode to techno superstar and recent Mirage takeover mastermind Charlotte De Witte.
After cleansing everyone’s palettes with some experimental bass, Summit pivoted genres once again – this time with Wilkinson’s drum n’ bass remix of Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding’s infectious collab “Miracle.” The drop felt like a true cathartic moment, with every soul on the dance floor blissfully releasing the built-up tension in their bodies while fire burst out of the stage.
Another defining moment of the show was delivered soon after, when Summit played out the headbang-inducing Hairitage remix of Gorillaz’ “Feel Good Inc.” to the delight of every incognito basshead in the crowd.
Not to be outdone by Summit’s musical selection, the graphics that appeared on the Mirage’s massive LED screen throughout the night were nothing short of enchanting. Trippy geometric patterns appeared on screen, making the viewer feel as though they were being transported through a portal as purple lasers blanketed the venue. Later, multicolored serpents slithered across the screen in unison with a nasty techno beat.
Summit elected to close his 2.5-hour set out with Gorgon City’s techno-inspired remix of “Where You Are,” giving the crowd one final euphoric singalong. The production team used this opportunity to expel every last bit of fire and lasers they had at their disposal. It was a fitting end to a tremendous evening at the Mirage.
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Reaching The Summit Of House Music
John Summit seems to be reaching the peak of his popularity right now. He is one of the foremost names in tech house today, and his brand (“My Life Is A Bender”) is highly relatable to a blossoming young fan base that is becoming more interested in house music, bringing his name into pop culture discussions.
Beyond his production and live mixing skills, Summit sets himself apart with his eye for curating all-around great events. This OTG takeover included on-stage dancers to augment the visual production, which is unusual at the Mirage.
Summit also made sure to keep The Great Hall (another Avant Gardner venue that is adjacent to the Mirage) open – including a live stream of the Mirage show and full production – so that attendees could get a break from the dense Mirage crowd without missing any of the show.
These seemingly minor details genuinely made the night’s experience better, and you can be sure that Summit’s fans appreciate them. The sky is the limit for John Summit and his Off The Grid comrades, and we cannot wait to see what they bring to the table in the coming months and years.
Check out John Summit's full set from the third night of Off The Grid's Mirage takeover below:
Photos courtesy of Blair Brown, Chris Lavado, and Tyler Rittenhouse.
Check out our review of Dom Dolla at The Brooklyn Mirage HERE!