Tags Posts tagged with "Boiler Room"

Boiler Room

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Actress and the London Contemporary Orchestra at the Barbican Centre
Actress and the London Contemporary Orchestra at the Barbican Centre

We leap at any chance we get to catch the mighty Actress in action and this particular occasion was a very special that just could not be sniffed at. Actress teamed up with the London Contemporary Orchestra to perform for Boiler Room at The Barbican Centre; so Actress + LCO + Boiler Room + The Barbican = maximum excitement levels for DLTM. As we were to find out, it was to be a unforgettable night indeed.

Actress is renowned for his leftfield approach to electronic music. His influences are varied, but techno experimentalists Autechre are among his early inspirations and, with that in mind, it’s easy to see where Actress got his penchant for pushing the boundaries of accepted norms in the electronic music sphere. This is a very basic summary of an artist who is way more complex than genre titles and pigeonholes will allow, so let’s just say he is someone who we are very fond of and The Barbican was an ideal setting for his performance with the London Contemporary Orchestra.

Actress and the London Contemporary Orchestra mesmerise the audience at The Barbican Centre for Boiler Room
The south-London based artist was in full control throughout the show

Over the course of an hour or so, we were treated to a solemn atmosphere in the Barbican. Solemn and serious, because the music we were being presented with was to be digested in an atmosphere that demanded your undivided attention – complete silence, darkness, and insular experience shared with a room full of people who are all honed in on the subtleties of the beautiful compositions being performed by the classically-trained group of musicians and, at the centre of it all, Actress. Sat with hood up, at a desk with two MacBooks and a variety of electronic gear, he was in full-on gully mode, the man at the controls, keeping it all moving with effortless fluidity – at times he hardly seemed to move, but you could tell he was hard at work.

Actress and the London Contemporary Orchestra mesmerise the audience at The Barbican Centre for Boiler Room
The stage was doused in an array of captivating light formations – sometimes spectacular, sometimes minimal – to accompany the wonderful music

The stage was lit up in spectacular style, with a range of lighting effects and projections that complemented the music well. The music itself was highly engaging, meditative and thought-provoking. Sitting there in the audience, body and mind absolutely still, transfixed on the stage, you could close your eyes and take a journey inwards. Occasionally a beat would come in, or some kind of abrupt noise or effect – at one point, in fact, one of the LCO percussionists rustled a plastic bag, much to our amusement – but only on the odd occasion. For the rest of it, we felt as though we were eavesdropping on a sublime, intellectual conversation between Actress’ electronic compositions and the LCO’s superb orchestral intonations, even when the beats started rolling.

A beautiful performance, which demonstrated how electronic and classical styles can be interwoven seamlessly.

Actress stayed hooded up throughout his stirring performance
Actress stayed hooded up throughout his stirring performance
Actress and the London Contemporary Orchestra mesmerise the audience at The Barbican Centre for Boiler Room
In the darkness of the Barbican you could drift away on an journey inwards

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Red Bull and Boiler Room celebrated their 5th birthdays on 5th November, 2015
Red Bull and Boiler Room celebrated their 5th birthdays on 5th November, 2015

Though they’ve collaborated on events in the past, this past week Red Bull Studios and Boiler Room went head-to-head with their 5th birthday celebrations. It’s not clear whether this was deliberate, but we have our suspicions… what’s more likely is that the 5th of November felt like an apt date to mark a milestone for both musical giants to get a load of people together for a good old shindig. And DLTM hit both events…

Red Bull…

Shy FX DJing at the Red Bull Studios 5th birthday event in London Bridge
Shy FX pon deck at the Red Bull Studios 5th birthday event

Kicking our Thursday night off at Red Bull Studios, we were greeted with a party bag and ushered down to the small bar in the basement of the complex where two dandy barman sorted us out a non-alcoholic “Devil’s Smash” (we’re off the booze this month) – from there we popped in to the upstairs area, which had been decked out in rather opulent gold drapes. Madam X was throwing down a nice blend of garage, grime and UK funky – being close cousins, the three genres flowed together effortlessly.

Red Bull Studios 5th birthday
One of the helpful attendants at Red Bull Studios 5th birthday
GotSome DJing at Red Bull Studio's 5th birthday in London Bridge
GotSome get busy at Red Bull Studio’s 5th birthday

Another bar supplied more cocktails and beers to the growing number of people who’d popped down to the London Bridge studios and there was a raised platform, rumoured by some to be a raised dance floor – unfortunately for Red Bull it became a dumping ground for all the party bags that had been handed out, a bit of a schoolboy error handing out to people on the way in…

Red Bull Studios 5th birthday
The reception area at the studios was converted to a lavish hangout spot

Besides that, Shy FX was of course on fire as per usual. Streamer cannons were let off a few times during his set, covering everybody in ticker tape. Downstairs the cheeky chappies from GotSome were throwing down a bit of dancehall (yes Adam!), which was well suited the basement room.

Overall a nice vibe, good cross section of heads and the music, unsurprisingly, was spot on.

Boiler Room…

By the time we got to Boiler Room (via Kojey Radical at Cargo) it was peak time and the Islington Steel Works was bustling outside and ramjam inside. Across three rooms Boiler Room kept it simple, staying true to their origins with the usual camera-to-DJ set up in each room.

Bradley Zero, Thristian and Nic Tasker get busy at Boiler Room's 5th birthday at Islington Steel Works
Residents Bradley Zero, Thristian and Nic Tasker get busy at Boiler Room’s 5th birthday

There were a few balloons dotted around the place but it was a largely minimal affair considering it was their 5th birthday celebration – we wouldn’t have expected anything more though. Boiler Room has always been relatively unassuming in its presentation of electronic music culture, letting the DJs, the music and the crowd around them do the talking.

Butterz rudeboys Elijah and Skilliam DJing in Room 1 at Boiler Room's 5th birthday at Islington Steel Works
Butterz rudeboys Elijah and Skilliam smash Room 1 at Boiler Room
Room 2 at Boiler Room's 5th birthday at Islington Steel Works
JG Wilkes of Optimo with ‘My Drug Shame’ emblazoned across his t-shirt

In the space of two or three hours we saw Butterz rudeboys Elijah & Skilliam bang out some raw old school grime, Boiler Room’s own Bradley Zero, Thristian and Nic Tasker going back-to-back-to-back in the Residents room, which was an entertainingly odd mix of oddball cuts as they tried to out-weird each other while still keeping everyone dancing. Upstairs in Room 2 we got a decent helping of techno to send us home with thundering kick drums echoing around the deepest recesses of our mind.

Two very different birthdays, Boiler Room had the edge, but that’s probably because we got there later in the day. Happy Birthday to both, here’s to many many more years of excellence…

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