MoMA PS1 Warm Up – Photo by Tim Willis

The Canadian prince known as Ryan Hemsworth made the trek down to Long Island City for MoMA PS1’s seasonal Warm Up party. As a producer, Ryan made his name known with a handful of remixes of artists like Frank Ocean, Tinashe, and Mikky Ekko. His affiliation with the Wedidit Collective and production credits on songs for Deniro Farrar have led to his sharp rise and what feels like nonstop touring. It seems like just about everyone makes beat-oriented music nowadays, but what has always set Ryan apart is his keen sense of melody; his songs stick out in a sea of mediocrity. After recommendations from friends and hearing his LuckyMe mix my interest was peaked.
By the time Ryan got on stage it was downright frustrating to find a decent spot to relax and hear his set. It is a problem that seems to plague PS1 every year: Its overcrowding puts a dampener on the talent that comes through. He started off with a new track off his recent Still Awake EP, which acted as a palette cleanser from the harsh techno that Pete Swanson had laid down minutes before. This was the first of quite a few originals he scattered into his set. Aside from some indie tangents, his set was unsurprisingly hip-hop based; the most notable being from Danny Brown and A$AP Ferg. Though I am a Ferg fan, I never realized how big he was until the moment Hemsworth played his “Work (Remix)”; hands went up and when Ferg’s signature “Woo woo” cut through, many in the crowd repeated it. That was one of the few moments when the crowd’s energy was visibly spiking.
The set did suffer from the current ubiquity of rattling hi-hats and the general overcrowding of the venue. On multiple occasions Hemsworth attempted to get on the mic and talk to the crowd, but anything he said was lost underneath the music. The volume of his set was noticeably lower than the previous one, which is a shame since hip-hop in that vein puts such an emphasis on the low-end. By the end of his set I made my way behind stage in an attempt to escape the mob of people. In an almost poetic way, Ryan played what sounded like Drake’s verse in Migos’ “Versace”; the line “This is a gated community please get the fuck off the property” felt fitting.