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Blog Club Review

Stay True Scotland: How Boiler Room broke the internet

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It’s a well known fact that when the Scots throw parties, their mantra is go big or go home. Thus when Scotch whiskey giant Ballantines invited us North of the border to attend a party they were throwing in conjunction with our friends over at Boiler Room we jumped at the chance.

Having already touched down in Russia, South Africa and Chile before landing in Edinburgh, the Stay True event aimed to showcase the links between Scotland and the rest of the world through their respective techno scenes. Taking place across four of the city’s most storied venues and drawing in around half a million viewers from 110 different countries we’d certainly say they succeeded. As the single most viewed broadcast in Boiler Room history, it momentarily crashed the mightiest of servers, in effect ‘breaking the internet’ and did so without a single image or mention of Kanye West’s inexplicably famous other half. Score one for techno.

Having indulged in the finer things Scotland has to offer (we’ve developed a taste for 30 year old whiskey and fillet steak: now we just need a six figure job to be able to afford them) we made a trip to esteemed local independent record store Underground Solu’shn – definitely worth a visit it if you’re in the area – before making our way down to the heart of Auld Reekie, spoilt for choice by a line-up packed with the crème de la crème of electronic talent.

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There are few outfits within electronic music spoken about in such hushed and revered tones as Detroit’s Underground Resistance. Such was the influence of the politically charged collective of techno innovators to the scene that over two decades on its members and former members still continue to have a considerable impact. When the likes of Messrs Mills, Hood, Banks and Rolando play we tend to listen. And when Rolando plays like he did in Sneaky Pete’s we could listen to him all night as boundless levels of upbeat energy flowed from the speakers to the crowd. Intensity, underpinned by melody, took the edge off an otherwise tough set of tracks as his set journeyed though industrial territories. Having relocated to the Scottish capital a number of years ago, Rolando has been enjoying a revival of late with the ‘Jaguar’ producer exciting fans with the formation of a new imprint entitled Roland Rocha Records or R3 for short. With the new imprint now operational Rolando and his fans can rightly look forward to their musical futures with a great deal of optimism. DT certainly hopes to catch him working his magic on another enthusiastic dancefloor soon.

With further performances coming from the likes of Blawan, Clouds, Slam, Heidi and Underground Resistance – who wheeled their live show, Timelines into town – clashes were sadly inevitable and decisions were always going to be tough on who we were able to see on the night, but safe in the knowledge that we’d be able to watch all of the nights sets back later we plumped for a pair of DT favourites to round out our evening.

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Original dubstepper, party starter and now techno don Skream continued to showcase the latest stage of his musical evolution, delivering a filter rattling performance not for the feint hearted. In keeping with the producer’s new direction his performance centered around driving drum patterns whilst retaining all of the technicality, originality and flair that Skream fans first fell in love with all those years ago. Dropping in cuts from the likes of SP-X, Mark Broom and Len Faki, his performance only served to heighten our expectations for his next album, which now has plenty to live up to when it lands on Damian Lazarus’ all conquering Crosstown imprint early next year.

A now very sweaty Data Transmission (the name Boiler Room never seeming more apt to us) then ventured across to catch Russian techno torpedo Nina Kraviz bringing the heat as the sun began to set, working the crowd with her own unique brand of hypnotic beats and enchanting rhythms. There’s a reason the Russian was our No.1 DJ of 2014, and whilst we’d love to wax lyrical about her performance we think it best if we let you witness her in action for yourself. Our good friends at Boiler Room have kindly obliged, so crank up your system, sit back, dance, do whatever the hell you want, so long as you simply listen. If a picture can paint a thousand words, we’ll let you decide how many can be expressed over the course of an hour of music. Hint: it’s a lot.

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