Desert Hearts, the beloved band of fun-loving, dust-kicking, beat-serving miscreants, is coming to Brooklyn for a full-on takeover of Superior Ingredients on March 4, 2023. For the first time, the DH crew will present a special day-to-night micro-festival of sorts, marrying the sounds of both of their tastemaking record labels, Desert Hearts Records and Desert Hearts Black. Gray Area is beyond excited to host this one-of-a-kind event.
This may be the best way for the Desert Hearts Crew—made up of Mikey Lion, Marbs, Porky, and Lee Reynolds—to spread their ethos of "House, Techno, Love" in New York. Bringing together the crew's two alter egos presents dancers with a unique opportunity to experience the full breadth of the expansive Desert Hearts sound. It's like they are bringing all the community focus, creative self-expression, judgment-free love, and wild bacchanal energy of the infamous Desert Hearts Festival under one roof. And nowhere else in New York can you enjoy the unadulterated bliss of a daytime rooftop party and a storming after-hours style rager at one venue.
First, the flagship brand, Desert Hearts Records, will get things started on The Roof. The vibrant and colorful vibe of the Mikey Lion-led imprint will bounce through the speakers as the technicolor sunset paints the sky. And from The Roof, the views of the glorious Manhattan skyline will provide the perfect backdrop for a day of scintillating grooves and elevated vibes. Since the label's 2014 debut release, Voltron/Defendant, Desert Hearts Records has been a leader of the tech house movement.
At 10:00 pm, the party moves into The Room, Superior Ingredients' well-appointed indoor space. The Desert Hearts Black crew, led by DH co-founder Marbs, will lead the dancefloor into the early hours of the morning with a night of deep, melodic-driven techno.
Since its inception in 2019, the imprint has dropped records from a broad range of sonic sorcerors, including Rinzen, Township Rebellion, Damian Lazarus, Darin Epsilon, and Thugfucker. With an aim to shine a light on the label's broader list of artists, the lineup is sure to be a top-shelf representation of its trademark sound.
Back in 2015, as word of Desert Hearts' epic renegade Mojave Desert ragers was beginning to spread through the underground, New York was among the first cities outside their southern California home to revel in the Desert Hearts experience. They've returned several times over the years, including their elrow stage takeovers in 2019 and 2021. Gray Area is hyped to bring them back to the city once again for their first-ever complete day-to-night rager.
Desert Hearts Records
Co-founder of Desert Hearts, Mikey Lion is a conduit of bright white light, a vibe conductor of the highest order, and a champion of positive energy and dusty funky beats. His impressive body of work as a beatsmith further illuminates his immeasurable impact on modern dance music culture. From the transcendent and introspective “Through The Fog” (with Justin Martin) to the syncopated acid madness of “This Is The Beat,” Mikey proves that he’s an industry leader in philosophy and sound.
Knapp has stood out as a genre-defining producer and talented vocalist, appearing in both capacities on Dirtybird, Toolroom, Hor Creations, and countless other underground tastemaking imprints. Tack on a Dj schedule that has taken him around the world several times over to perform at any number of festivals and clubs in Ibiza, London, Australia, and the States, and you may begin to understand why he’s your favorite DJ’s favorite DJ.
Lubelski is a special kind of wizarding producer. A master of wild and eclectic sound design, intelligent sampling, and deep musical exploration, he consistently leaves the house world awestruck at how far he’s been able to stretch the limits of sonic manipulation. His 2021 album was a tour de force that recently got the remix treatment from Skream, Mary Droppinz, Nikki Nair, and AK Sports, among others.
Defined by a deep history with the New York dance music scene, Alan Nieves has been at the epicenter of the culture for well over a decade. With a sound heavily influenced by his Latino roots, he’s crafted a sultry minimal sound that’s landed on labels like Circus, Sola, and Rawthentic. And it’s clear his music is resonating with the dancefloor as he’s charted in the Beatport and Tracksource top 100 no less than 26 times.
Desert Hearts Black
Desert Hearts co-founder and leader of the Desert Hearts Black label, Marbs, serves his dual function as the logistical heart of DH and the reigning king of darkness for DHB. A multi-talented artist, he deftly moves between crafting grinding tribal beats with just enough funk to keep the dancefloor pumping deep into the night and being the man behind the Desert Hearts artistic direction.
Known for his intense and funky live shows that take his unique brand of funky techno beyond a mere DJ set, Shaded is one of the Desert Hearts crews’ most distinctive artists. He’s established a distinct relationship with the DHB crew and become a sought-after producer in his own right, dropping funky minimal heaters on Black Book, Trick, Dirtybird, and having the honor of Jamie Jones remixing his track “Midnight Minds.”
A true multi-hyphenate, Justin Marchacos is a skilled composer with a background in film, a Beatport chart-topping DJ, and a resident of the famed CityFox brand. His releases—like 2018’s Top 30 Beatport Staf Pick “Kingdom”—spread across lauded imprints like Sven Väthʼs Cocoon, Brian Cidʼs imprint Endangered, and (of course) Desert Hearts Black. His driving, melodic, and cinematic sound has blessed the speakers of clubs and festivals from Bangalore and Berlin to Tulum and New York.