Boiler Room is a soundcloud/youtube channel that hosts, records, and streams live the worlds best underground shows. Started in the UK and now in the last year expanding to Berlin, the 1.1 million followers of Boilerroom.tv know what to expect, the most exclusive cutting edge music from the hottest underground parties. Whether it streams underground from a bunker in Berlin, a rooftop loft in London, or a private beach party in Ibiza, you can expect the acts that fill those venues to be unreal.
This special deep, minimal set by Tale of Us recorded in Paris in partnership with Nuits Sonores is one to most definitely listen to. I love the atmospheric voices of the crowd mixed in with the heavy hitting melodic drone of the one hour set. If you love deep house, you will recognize your favorite tracks woven through the hour. Long drawn out mixes and stealth DJ’ing make this set seamless and the hour will be over before you know it.
Stream the mix below on soundcloud, and then back it with the visuals from the Boiler Room Youtube channel below.
When we saw that Citizens! were playing at The Media Club here in Vancouver, we jumped at the opportunity to snag an interview with them. With a capacity of only 150, the venue is as intimate as it gets (unless you’re literally moving the show into your garage). At the Media Club, sold out shows are a sweat fest and the perfect way in which to experience a show in its true and honest form – up close and personal.
Within a year of forming, Citizens’ were signed to Kitsuné (home to Whitest Boy Alive, Cut Copy, Yelle, the list goes on) and their debut album, “Here We Are” (May 2012) was produced by Franz Ferdinand’s head man, Alex Kapranos – impressive feats for such a fresh young band. Even without knowing much about their sound, it’s clear they have something to share.
They’re boisterous, care-free and highly interactive on stage. The audience instantly feels at ease as they play in a very care-free ‘we-dont-give-a-fuck-if-we-haven’t-slept-in-a-week’ kind of way. This band seems to have a clear idea of who they are and where they’d like to go and it’s all been set into motion before they even seem to know what’s hit them.
We caught up with them right after their show in Vancouver, and despite a very aggressive touring schedule, it’s clear they’re still buzzing and ready for more. They were more than happy to chat wit hus and excited to share a glimpse into how it is it all began, the whirlwind of this past year and what’s in the store for the band in the future. Check out an excerpt from the interview below…
WT: You’re on the last leg of your very first N. American tour, you’ve just done 5 shows in a row with only a couple nights off and 9 shows in a row before that – How are you guys feeling? Have you had a chance to let it all sink in?
C: I mean…no, not really. It has all been kinda quick – touring America is really tough and a lot of bands break up. It’s like going back to square one and it’s long drives. But we’ve gotten to the end of it now and we couldn’t imagine being less busy. Because it’s been such a quick process, we really don’t know any other way. We don’t wanna go home. We had a break over Christmas and we weren’t doing anything band related for nearly a month and it was just too long. We were all so eager to get back at it.
WT: How does touring in North America compare to touring in Europe or the UK?
C: There are more people at a lot of the gigs than in London – it’s a lot nicer, you have a lot of bigger cities in North America. In the Europe, apart from certain countries where we’re popular, we’re still kind of a ‘big city’ band. If you go to smaller city, people don’t really know about us so there might not be many people at the show. And in the US you have tons of communities with alternative music scenes whereas in the UK you have London and I think we’re still caught in the 90’s when it comes to pop music.
WT: Do you have one single highlight from the tour?
C: Sold out show at The Echo in Los Angeles, hands down.
WT: You’ve recently been signed to Kitsuné, quite an influential European label – was this something you guys sought out actively or did they come to you directly?
C: We started sending demos around and Gildas (Gildas Loaec, creator of Kitsuné) was just really into it straight away. We met a bunch of producers and Alex (Kapranos) was the one that had the most enthusiasm. And to be honest, most people you meet in music are really depressing and cynical. Labels, producers and all these people and they just tell you, ‘The industry’s fucked but if you do this, this, this and this then you might be able to make it work.’ And then sometimes you meet people that just have a real love for it and Gildas is just one of those people and we’ve got a really powerful relationship with him.
It was weird…I think maybe because we kind of had a different approach to it – we just wrote a bunch of songs and recorded them at home and we weren’t playing gigs or anything. It was just that we had a vision of what we wanted the band to be about. And then we thought, we’ve got all of these demos and now what are we going to do with them? So we started sending them to as many people as we could, asking them to hand them out and that’s how it ended it up in Alex’s hands and that’s how Kitsuné heard it and immediately they wanted to put the demo of ‘Let’s Go All The Way’ on one of their compilations. And we’d never even played a gig. We didn’t even have a band name! I think it’s Kitsuné 10 or 11, and the first song on it is ‘Let’s Go All The Way (Demo Version)’ and where the band name should be it’s just blank.
WT: Where did the name Citizens! come from?
C: Do you know the band, Art Brut? Well he’s just a really cool and interesting guy and we were talking to him one night and he was like ‘I think citizens would be the best ever band name,’ and he’s obsessed with comic books and he said he’d seen this picture of a character reading a newspaper in some comic that said ‘citizens’’ – I thought it was a bit of a shit name when he suggested it but then it was like a visual thing as well and well, it just worked.
WT: In your documentary, The Nature of Pop, you say that you say that people take pop less seriously than other genres of music – do you still think that’s true?
C: Ya, I think bands do. It was definitely a thing at the time when we started that people kind of frowned upon it a little bit – but I think it has changed a lot in the last few years, people are a lot more open to it and the definition of pop music has changed – it’s more respected. Essentially, we were thinking back to the likes of David Bowie.
WT: Is it that you don’t think that people take you seriously?
C: Not that they don’t take you seriously but they don’t think it’s cool. People just want to be cool.
WT: You guys have a couple really popular remixes done by Gigamesh and Goldroom (also signed by Kitsuné), do you guys have a personal relationship with them and what are your thoughts on the whole remixing thing?
C: I only know Gigamesh through Gmail chat – he’s always on! I think it’s really interesting take on the song. It’s really nice, it’s a compliment. I’m a DJ as well, so I’m really into it.
WT: What’s something people don’t know about Citizens!?
C: Well we’re actually kind of working on some stuff with a DJ at the moment who I’ve liked for years so I’m really excited – Lindstrom. You know him? It’s still early days but it’s really nice when people you like want to work with you.
WT: Is there one venue or place in the world where you dream of playing someday?
C: Ya actually…we really love playing in France. The South of France has some incredible venues in small towns that are really well funded and they bring in some amazing talent. Especially this one place in Toulouse, Le Bikini. There’s a pool and the venue manager does a cheese and wine tasting before you go on stage.
WT: Ok last question before you hit the road – Is there one place, assuming I’d never heard your album, that you would want me to hear it for the very first time?
C: I think driving…in the summer. I can picture you right now- you’re driving along the coast..scenic route..alone…blaring it and singing…I’ve never tried it, but I’d also like to listen to it blaring while driving around Berlin at night.
From London England, Jai Paul has just released another track with his label XL. Previously released BTSTU turned heads like mad, and now Jasmine feels just as good. Jai has proven to be as low profile as they come and details on the release of his first 16 track album has been tough for music bloggers to pin down and regardless I’m sold on what he is doing. The gritty grind of his beats, the ambient high-pitched sweet yet smooth vocals set apart Jai’s sound. I have no idea really what genre his music is, hence the absolutely vague tags below. Listen below and on his Soundcloud page, pick up a few tracks on Itunes, then get in line as we wait to find out more information on his full release.
Cleo is a 21 year old photographer from London. I came across her work in Berlin and was instantly intrigued. Her photography is an honest glimpse into youth lifestyle without the cheese. Most of our readers have moved past the age of the subjects she captures, however there is something still so powerful and interesting in the window she creates into their worlds.
Django Django‘s sound is as inventive as it is creative. It’s difficult to isolate their music to one specific genre – think Alt-J meets The Beatles infused with a little Hot Chip overshadowed by distinct flavor very much their own. At the core of their foundation are layers of rhythmic and psychedelic vocals and synths. Their music is upbeat and optimistic without being overly intense.
The Arabian influenced lyric-less “Skies over Cairo” take me back to my childhood and hours spent inside the world of Alladin’s Sega Genesis videogame. Dissimilar “Wor” is a race down dusty city streets of the wild-west, ambulance sirens adding to the accelerated, heightened lyrical progressions. Each song uniquely its own an enormous amount of variety and influences coming into play. Although slightly confusing and perhaps unsettling at times, the album is surprisingly cohesive – twisting and turning, no lack of imagination throughout. A sucker for country ballads, hymns and chants accompanied by hyptnotic beats – London’s Django Django is doing the trick.
I was shown the work of Louise Despont recently and I spent the next 45 minutes infatuated with her work. It feels as though I had come across undiscovered scriptures from another time, or better yet another world. Her work seems to dance between eerily beautiful obsessiveness and formulaic geometry. From afar her work seems meticulous and computer generated, however as you get closer you can see that the graphite from her pencil is far from perfect and the sketchiness and beautifully human nature comes clearly into focus. I have featured some of my favorites from Louise, however I encourage you to visit her site here, or go see her work live (showing at the end of November in New York City).
Chairlift is Caroline Polachek and Patrick Wimberly. They recorded their album Something in between London and the back of an antique store in Brooklyn, New York. Our take is that Chairlift has created something special here. The meloncholy yet agressive energy that is passed back and forth between lyrics and chords, creates an album that not only grabs our attention immediately with tracks such as Sidewalk Safari, but when you hear I Belong In Your Arms, or Met Before there is a different kind of appreciation to be had. One that has a tint of darkness, joy, beauty, and intensity.
It was crunch time this weekend, had a big freelance branding project due, and I wouldn’t have been able to put in all that time without the absolutely insane hours upon hours of music from The C90’s. Here’s their story, from London, England and we quote, just “Two buddies making music”. We will let the music do the talking for them, as it seems that is how they like it.
Below we have sets from each month leading up to the end of 2011. Our personal favorite rides at the top. The November mix kills it, kicking off with a funk laden set of tracks beautifully meshed together to keep your head bobbing non stop all the way through. Make sure you follow their blog here and you can find them on facebook here. This is Witness This saluting the C90’s, please come to California and rock out with us.
Click on download next to the set and get all the tracks right to your computer.
SBTRKT is a blend of electronic, funk, and old school soul. SBTRKT began his career as a DJ in the east London club “Plastic People”. SBTRKT has remixed songs by artists including MIA, Radiohead, Modeselektor, Basement Jaxx, Mark Ronson and Underworld, and has released singles, EPs, and a self-titled album.SBTRKT’s music is a mixture of two-step, UK funky, dubstep, US R & B and Chicago house. His music has been placed in rotation by BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 6.
sample it here:
25 oct – fortune sound club (LIVE) – vancouver BUY TICKETS
Is Tropical are a trio of young veil-faced Londoners that lay down some high energy electro dance music. Their latest offering Native To, released in June, could easily be a non-stop soundtrack to any house party. Despite the track “The Greeks” having a viral video and some earlier releases that are also on Native To, there hasn’t been much hype surrounding this release. I really think that “Land of Nod” is one of the hottest tracks out this summer in this area of music.
South London based Captured Tracks quintet Dignan Porch recently released Deluded, an eight track lo-fi gem. The lyrics are honest and raw, mainly about the scorn and celebration of everyday life and romanticism. The sound is the perfect balance of melodic harmony and fuzzy disorganization of guitar feedback that mimic the ups and downs of everyday life.
I’ve been listening to the track “Like It Was Again” repeatedly and haven’t felt such a strong connection to a song in quite some time. It’s basically a journey into the inner thought and fantasy of someone thinking that they can single-handedly bring back the passion and fire of a relationship that has ended. The listener knows it’s not going to work out, but the thought and passionate call to action is romantic in itself. It’s as if the narrator will actually find themselves through this journey and in the end it’s not at all about getting back together with their ex-love.
“I’m gonna call her up and make it like it was. When she answers her voice will be curious. All our conversations will be spontaneous. When I hang up it will be back to like it was. It’s fortunate that we have woken up and remembered to love each other. And when I think of her I won’t be jealous, I’ll make everything just like it was.”
Joe Walsh – Vocals, Guitar
Sam Walsh – Guitar
Ben Goodwin – Bass
Philippa Bloomfield – Drums
Hayley Akins – Vocals, Keyboard