Event Review: HiFiEntHTX Presents Mrotek


Many people in Houston may not have known, but Arizona hard dance DJ & producer Mrotek came to town right before the New Year. However, for an event with inadequate promotion and hardly any public knowledge, it turned out to be an energetic night with underground warehouse vibes and killer music.

Many aspects of the show seemed off to a rocky start weeks before the event took place, which led us to go in with relatively low expectations. Last minute venue changes, a late-addition cooler fee, ticket “donations”, and essentially non-existent promotion online or attention on the event page led us to believe that it was going to be somewhat of a logistical disaster. And to be honest, the venue was nothing impressive and being in an inside/outside location during a cold night was not what I was looking forward to.

We got there around 9:30pm but it was just so cold and the venue was still dead so we cracked the windows in the car and listened to the music from the parking lot. Even from that far, we could tell at least the sound system and music selection were on point. Once a few more people we knew showed up, we made our way inside.

Even at 10:30pm, there was practically no one there. It turned out to be a positive starting point, because the barn/garage/warehouse that we were in was pretty small and honestly would not fit a decent sized crowd. However, those who were there were the Houston resident hard dance fans and essentially everyone already knew each other. Right off the bat the energy between the music and the people were perfect. After playing a few rounds of giant Jenga and breaking into the cooler stashes we went inside.

What we heard from Pkle & Edric were the hard dance anthems and smooth transitions that we have come to expect. When Darkness Lies took over at 11:00pm, and he made it heavy. His classic song selection definitely made use of the rather nice sound system, making sure that the energy remained high and the now-much-larger crowd stayed dancing. Arson began his set at midnight, and like usual, he brought his intense, unique sound and diverse track list to keep everyone on their toes and waiting for what was next.

Which lead up to Mrotek. After having the opportunity to speak with James before the show as an on the radar artist, we were very excited to see him perform live and, to be very blunt, he exceeded our expectations. He took the small, dilapidated building and turned it into what can be truly described as an underground show. No moment in his set was lacking, he had flawless transitions and insane track selection, and maintained high crowd interaction. At no point did we see the crowd standing still, everyone was dancing and smiling the full hour he was on the decks.

While the next DJ played (apologies, we have no notes since we went outside for some fresh air), we had a moment to catch up with Mrotek to hear his post-performance thoughts. James mentioned that his first impression was that it was awesome to get to play in Houston and see how dedicated the hard dance scene here is. While small, he enjoyed the energy that the locals put off and it made his set even more enjoyable. He added that it is especially nice when he gets to play a show and then chill with his homies (Hardphonix, Arson, etc.). We also wanted to know his personal thoughts on performing for such a small crowd, compared to his experience at large festivals, to which he said “Having a bigger crowd can be more exciting, however, the most important thing to me is that the crowd wants it heavy. This way it means I can play the music I would like to play and it would go over well for the party.”

In sum, James had fun! He wanted to add that for him, no matter the size of the show, playing for a crowd always gets his blood flowing and heart racing. While it may have been small, he believes that the Houston hard dance scene’s energy is some of the best to feed off of as a performer.

Finishing off the night, Dallas native Distork took control and sped things up a notch or five. Throwing the bpm up and over 200, her taste in uptempo hardcore was something the Houston scene embraced entirely. Though the crowd began to thin, those who remained kept dancing no matter what speed she threw at them. We definitely look forward to seeing more of Distork in Houston, to bring some much needed hardcore to a mostly hardstyle scene.

Overall, the whole event started off strange, seemingly unprepared, and truly did not give us much to look forward to. The venue will likely never be a favorite of ours, but what the team, performers, and crowd were able to bring to the building made it feel like a real underground show. Mrotek will absolutely stay on our radar as an up and coming artist in 2018, and we hope to see him again in Houston as his name continues to grow across the hard dance scene. HiFiEnt gave Houston a fantastic end-of-year present, and should logistics and promotion work from the team improve, we believe we will see some nice shows out of them in the new year as well.

About Kayla Draper

Music: Hard Dance | Drum and Bass | Future Bass

Hobbies: Cosplay | Travel | Music Festivals | Sewing | Dancing | Contact Staff

Likes: Fried Chicken | Samurai | Video Games | Sleep

Dislikes: Beans | Bugs | Traffic | Complacency

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