Underground grooves, hot dance tunes, strangely dressed hipsters with the worst dance moves… Simply put, the Boiler Room is quite a thing. For all those who love underground dance music, for all those who love the more artistic side of dance music, the Boiler Room is the source for what is going on around the dance world. If you are unfamiliar, I would wager that without even knowing it, you have listened to one of its numerous sets, or maybe you’ve seen a video online with awkward hipsters dancing behind a DJ/producer in a dimly lit locale… That’s a superficial definition of The Boiler Room, but it’s an essential quality of it.
Over the years there have been controversies, tremendous achievements, comedy, and breathtaking sets streamed out by this not so little thing. It grew from an isolated London music project in 2010 to become the premiere international live underground music streaming service it is today.
As it has made its indelible mark on dance music, we are going to countdown the top five reasons why the Boiler Room is relevant, necessary, and overall one dance music artifact you must to pay attention to. We love it, and here are our five reasons why...
1. THE LINEUPS
The Boiler Room knows exactly what is going on, and who the preeminent figures are in the dance world. They pick only the finest, the best, the brightest when it comes to their lineups, and they are not to be pigeonholed in their selections. They know good music, and so they give every well deserving genre a chance to shine. They also are not afraid to give DJ sets to the most unexpected of talent from Purity Ring to Sigur Ros to Thom Yorke (more on this later).
2. THE CROWD. THE HIPSTER DANCERS. THE DANCING HIPSTER CROWD
If anyone wanted to be the center of attention more than the curated talent, it is the Boiler Room hipsters who just want to get as much screen time with the live stream camera as possible. They are dressed to impress, or at least whatever they interpret that to meane, but they look really strange and definitively hipster. I mean, is Boiler Room a hipster magnet? It must be because it’s supposedly underground and everyone says it’s hip, right?
Please if you ever go to a Boiler Room set, please do your best to not be one of these people. Also, please do not interrupt the talent, just because it’s a less formal show, doesn’t mean you can just walk up and the DJ wants to have a chat, let the artists work!
This may be one of the world's next wonders that no one will ever be able to truly explain, but these hipsters and their dance moves… They really are something else. If I were to say they were creative dance moves, that would be too positive of an assessment, they are very "intriguing" dance moves. Perplexing and confounding, these body motions they make are hypnotic. It’s like a car crash, and the dancing hipsters are so bad they are good... There is something indisputably positive there because I have seen some things that I have never seen before and probably will never seen again thanks to the Boiler Room.
Now, without further ado, please allow me to introduce Mr. Thom Yorke. The most awkward DJ set of the Boiler Room, just watch his interactions with the crowd… Definitely a no no of most DJ sets everywhere is being more into your set than the audience… Also, Thom Yorke has some of the most interesting dance moves already, so he is the patron saint of hipster dancing...
3. THE AMAZING SETS
Richie Hawtin is the master of techno, and one of the men who run the Ibizan summer scene. In this exclusive Boiler Room villa takeover, you see Richie get to work first hand and oh boy were those Ibizan party goers in for an epic set. Please note the amazing headdress wearing man getting down with his bad self at the beginning. The best part about this Boiler Room crowd I have to say, they seem to be unaware, or at least unfocused on Richie Hawtin at work so kudos to them for that. Also, note that Richie Hawtin holds the title for one of the best neutralizations of an awkward girl’s drink offer in a previous Boiler Room (Scroll up for Exhibit A). The man is a professional, let the talent work, and get your ass on the dance floor people!
This next amazing set comes from Brodinski during the House of Vans x Boiler Room Berlin from back in January 2013. In fact, this was actually one of the first times the author of this article actually watched an entire Boiler Room set from beginning to end, and did I pick a good one to go all in on. Brodinski throws down with his signature hip hop inspired techno. A particularly great moment is at around the 54 minute mark where he brings in Kendrick Lamar’s classic “M.A.A.D. City”. Just watch the crowd savor the flavor and go buck wild.
We could go on for hours and hours, but we chose two of our personal favorites. Jump over to the Boiler Room's website and check out all of them to figure out which one is your favorite.
4. THE CONTROVERSIAL SETS
They say the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and the Boiler Room is no exception to that rule. Like Icarus flying too close to the sun, some of the entertainers taking the helm of the Boiler Room show fall a tad short.
One of the most controversial sets in recent history was when Boiler Room and Richie Hawtin invited synth-pop goddess Grimes to throw down a set. Many argued that Grimes was trolling the Boiler Room as she chose to go with some quintessential pop selections, and the hipsters apparently were not having it. Hop over to Stereogum to read more about this controversial set.
Oh, and one minor note, as the Boiler Room is a party, and any good party has plenty of alcohol, some take it a little too far… We won’t name names… We’ll just give you a link to an article about how one huge UK producer was cut short because of a few too many libations...
5. IT'S FREE FOR YOU AND ME
Hey, the Boiler Room streams free, it’s almost a civic duty, a public service what they do. They bring light to the darkness, beauty to the world, and share the art of the best around via the wonderfully globally connected internet. So, if you need a free pick me up, or a show with a huge name in techno or house free of charge, well look no further than the zero dollar price tag of the Boiler Room.
Now, if you have an entire day to kill, we have selected our top twenty favorite Boiler Room sets, all available for your listening pleasure via Soundcloud:
And if you want a little bit more of Thom Yorke’s spectacular dancing, please allow this gif to hypnotize you. Don’t stare at it too long, you might burn a hole in your eye…
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