Usually on Dollars to Pounds I find an amazing band and ask them a load of stupid questions, but this week is different because I went to an event and asked more stupid questions to a load of Dollars to Pounds alumni. The Boiler Room is run by Platform, a London-based online magazine that manages to be consistently informative and ridiculously funny. After you read FADER you should definitely read Platform. But in that order.
Platform is based in a secretish east London location. This is where the Boiler Room is broadcast from every week on Tuesday at about 9pm. It’s basically an extension, or even evolution, of London’s rich pirate radio culture. A small, sweaty room. Great DJs. The odd live performance. Red Stripe. Rum. They broadcast live via Ustream so you can see all the pals nodding their heads and then dancing, once the rum sets in.
Tuesday night’s Boiler Room was a Young Turks special. Kwes—who recently made an amazing mix for Dollars To Pounds—DJed, as did Jamie from The XX, who were the subjects of my first ever D2P. Also there were FADER buddies Mount Kimbie. “It’s great. We played here the other week,” Kai told me, “but it isn’t usually this full. And there are usually lights.” The Boiler Room isn’t, like you might expect: underground, in a boiler room. It’s on the second or third floor of a dilapidated old warehouse. I forget which: there was a power cut that night, so outside of the room, you were plunged into pitch darkness with only the faint light of your phone to help you around. That made it more awesome. The amazing Chalin [In the videos, she's the one in the white vest and denim shorts] guided me up the stairs to a huge room with a vaulted ceiling, the Boiler Room is nestled in the corner.
Blaise Bellville, Platform editor extraordinaire, [the gigantic, chiselled guy], explained: “when we moved into the warehouse, there was this amazing old boiler room that no one had been in since the 1930s, not even the landowner knew about it, it was one of those spaces you walk into and all you want to do is throw a party, just do something with it. Anyway it immediately occurred to me we could use the space for a proper proper Ustream show. In the end we couldn’t use that room, it was full of Asbestos! So we ended up in an empty room upstairs, but the name stuck.”
Tic from Young Turks [dancing, afro pick] told me their intention was “not to just to have a couple of DJs, we want to bring the whole vibe.” That meant a sweet, soulful live set from Sampha, and an appearance by voodoo crunk duo Hype Williams, friends of the label. Jamie XX played some tracks from his Gil Scott Heron full album remix, and mentioned he has a solo 12-inch coming out later in the year. He’s been touring for most of 2010 . “It’s crazy,” he told me, “we’ve just had five days off, the longest break we’ve had all year. But we fly to Japan in the morning.”
Belville says they treat The Boiler Room like a radio show, a chance to offer exposure to DJs and acts they love. “I want it to consistently have amazing guests, for our reach to grow internationally, to be hosting tiny sweat box rooms at the best parties and festivals, and to keep our once a week back of a warehouse thing.” Most importantly, he wants it remain fun. “It’s like a really, really good house party,” he told me. “I hope it feels like that when you’re watching it at home.î
The Boiler Room is broadcast every Tuesday at 9pm on Ustream. Future guests include Oneman, Benji B, Hudson Mohawke, Ben UFO and Brackles.