In sociology, a “third place” is the place you frequent the most besides your home or your work. My third place is Output. To me, it’s Brooklyn’s answer to legendary music-centric venues like Berghain and Fabric, and it’s right across the East River from the greatest city in the world. The 452-person-capacity nightclub might not have the massive industrial grandeur of Berlin’s techno temple, but what it lacks in size, it makes up for with its booming Funktion One sound system that envelopes the crowd from every corner. Aesthetics aside, what really makes Output a world-class music institution is the club’s penchant for curating top-notch talent, whether its from the depths of New York’s underground or from the dance floors of Ibiza. And it has only just turned four.
Output resident and Tuskegee Music co-founder Seth Troxler resumed his spot behind the booth to ring in the nightclub’s fourth anniversary on Jan. 27, playing a six-hour set after New York’s own Phil Moffa kicked things off. I arrived shortly after midnight and was immediately energized by Moffa’s fast-paced opening set, filled with tech-house grooves. The crowd, still growing at 1 AM, was so livened that for a second I thought Troxler had already taken over – and I mean that in the best way possible. The Detroit techno maestro then began to set up as wild cheers rose from the dance floor; mayhem was about to ensue, and sure enough, the first few beats of his marathon set had everyone moving together, regardless of the fact that the room was packed like sardines. It was an all-night performance, and Troxler’s set was paced as such. The thick of the juice came in at around 4 AM and it didn’t stop until dawn, when he tossed in a Grateful Dead track to close it all out.
Frank & Tony headlined the adjacent Panther Room, joining Nicolas Matar and Willie Graff for some funkier tunes. They kept the room at a comparably more chilled-out level than the main room, offering a lounge-like feel that complemented Troxler’s set perfectly. The coinciding sets between Output’s main room and the Panther Room are part of what seals the deal for me in favoring the club. You get a well-rounded dosage of dance music from a multitude of artists in just one night – and the ecstasy from that is addicting.