nah : 05.2014 : Boiler Room: A Missed Opportunity? (Culture & Sociology, Music)
Interesting angle about why there’s something missing about the Boiler Room.
Instead of getting lost in the music and seeking the release that comes from expending energy in sync with a crowd, it seems as though many are more interested in straight up watching the DJ. At best it’s counterintuitive. Unless the DJ is as skilled as Jeff Mills, the physical act of DJing usually just isn’t that interesting to watch. And if it isn’t pointless enough to stand around in a nightclub watching a DJ, it’s the height of ludicrousness to stream video of it while you’re at home or sitting at work. Boiler Room regularly gets criticised for showing crowds of scenesters standing around barely nodding their heads; the problem isn’t only that the guests at these exclusive shows aren’t enjoying themselves but also that it’s just not visually interesting. Why should anyone watch this?!
I think this dismisses the real problem about the Boiler Room, though. While worshipping the DJ has become somewhat ridiculous, the Boiler Room at least shows how boring it can be – and how much it is about the sound and the skills, and not so much the party environment. That said, the Boiler Room is not a party. It’s a symbol of a party, orchestrated, surely not free. The reason for why the scenesters stand in the background shuffling grumpily is because anonymity can’t be guaranteed. The house and techno scene does not live from it’s enactment but from the possibility of freedom within a community that couldn’t give a fuck about cameras, looking good or being completely over the top with absurd dance moves and shitfaced behaviour or expressions of love and affiliation. Why bother producing these emotions when you’re just an actor on a stage?
Essentially, Boiler Room is the theater stage of the music scene.