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"I'll never forget the first time I played": Nora En Pure on The Brooklyn Mirage

The Swiss/South African deep house DJ on why the New York spot is her kind of place

  • Interview: Scott Carbines | Photo: @prolophoto / Philip Prolo
  • 21 April 2020

The first time I played at Mirage was when I threw my Purified party there at the beginning of last summer. I did two sets; a sunset set and then another later on. It started to pour with rain in the middle of the night and the crowd went absolutely crazy. It was absolutely perfect timing. The drop came in the track and at the exact same moment it started to pour down, and everyone went wild. I’ll never forget that moment, and I know a lot of other people remember it too. I always get comments about it on social media when I mention I’m doing Purified New York again!

I’ve always found playing in New York special, but Brooklyn Mirage is at a different level. Because it’s outdoors, when you’re there in summer, you feel like you could almost be in Israel or Croatia or somewhere else with a beach and plenty of sun.

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Mirage is just one part of the Avant Gardner complex in Bushwick, a former industrial neighbourhood in New York. It also features indoor venues like The Great Hall and Kings Hall, and the first time I played was in one of the inside spaces. They both fit another three or four thousand people so it’s a really big space, and they do plenty of other kinds of events there aside from parties. I think you can even get married there if you want! I always got the sense that Mirage was the really special part of the complex, though, so I was super-excited when I first did my Purified event there last summer.

It’s a five- or six-thousand capacity venue so sits somewhere between a festival and a club experience. The dancefloor is in the middle, and around the dancefloor you have the second level on the balcony. From there you can watch the sun set over the city or the dancefloor, and it’s such an impressive view with so many vantage points up there. If you’ve had enough of being in the crowd and being sweaty you can head up the stairs, and then go back down and get involved again.

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The first time we did Purified there Alex Kennon, Huxley, Riva Starr and Mat.Joe all played too, and when it rained, we had dancers with big jellyfish coming through the crowd and everyone was just dancing in the rain so it almost felt like being in the sea. Purified is really nature-based so it fitted perfectly and created this incredible atmosphere. If I could have orchestrated it I would have!

I love to go into the crowd at my events and see how people are enjoying the event and what the vibe’s like and at Brooklyn Mirage it’s just perfect.

It really doesn’t fit into the New York club landscape – it’s something completely different and new, and something you’d never have expected to find in New York before. I’m back in August – and I can’t wait.

Scott Carbines is a freelance writer. follow him on Twitter

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