It’s 6pm on a cool January evening in Bethnal Green, east London. On the top floor of a nondescript building, a group of young, mostly male, music producers mill around, playing pool and throwing darts. A lot of them have never met before but interact with familiarity, comfortable because they know each other from time spent online, on platforms like Soundcloud and Twitter.
Invitations arrive via friends of friends or word of mouth. All of them are here at Boiler Room, which bills itself as “music tv for the internet age”, for the monthly show, ‘Crowdsourced’. Musicians around the world send in their musical bric-a-brac – submissions range from vocal arias to objects falling down stairs or being microwaved – which are chopped up, sampled and twisted in a live-stream with an up-and-coming producer.
This month’s maestro is Oshi, a producer from north London who moved to LA at just 17-years-old, and will later this month release a track with American producer Baauer, of “Harlem Shake” fame. After an hour, the audience files into a studio with a huge green screen, where they sprawl on couches and beanbags while a few Boiler Room staff iron out the technicalities of live streaming.
Over the next few hours, Oshi and mischievous MC Wize, a rapper and figure on the London music scene in his own right, browse through the submissions – some of the sounds they use have been sent by people in the room, much to their collective delight – and fire jokes back and forth. By the end of the session, two distinct clips have been produced, which the crowd back home are handed the responsibility of naming.
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