BOILER ROOM DETROIT Details by Niki Williams

BOILER ROOM DETROIT Details by Niki Williams

Writing and Photography by: Niki Williams


That is what AK said. Bitch Bang!

The crowd simmered around her, noodling. Bitch Bang!

Some frothed over, past innuendo into the sublime. Say Bitch Bang!

A tall woman in a tight pink dress twerked frenetically on her partner and her platinum hair bobbed with the beat as she managed not one but three iPhones, precariously perched on the DJ table, all recording selfie mode.

AK is one of the hottest names coming out of the city right now. Her studied musical knowledge and ability to read the pulse of the dance floor make her an unstoppable force behind the decks. With such strong potential so early in her career, we may one day talk about her as one of the greats. To some, she already is.

Boiler Room. I searched it up…

A boiler room is a scheme in which salespeople apply high-pressure tactics to persuade investors to purchase securities, including speculative and fraudulent securities.

Which is pretty much a dance party, right? 

Want to dance with me?

Pretty sure those were the words Elon Musk spoke to Grimes to seal the deal.

I said those words to my friend Cinnamon, and she handed me a stem from a mushroom called Penis Envy. Detroit girls seldom disappoint.

Elon… The self proclaimed “techno king” recently disclosed to shareholders that his company, Tesla, has sold 75% of its Bitcoin holdings, one of the most popular crypto currencies, a market which grew dramatically in 2020 and 2021. Musk promoted crypto heavily during that time, and some claim these promotions – and the general structure of crypto markets – are, at the end of the day, new tech with the same old Ponzi schemes.

Now it would seem, the markets are cooked.

I am pretty sure everyone at this particular Boiler Room knows the economy is screwed up.

The Detroit lineup, curated and produced by MeanRed Productions, was a true multi-genre testament to local Detroit talent. Stardust, DJ Killa $quid, Sky Jetta, Gulley, and Black Noi$e brought the heat outside, while Blaaqgold, Meftah, 47 Chops, AK, and The AM banged out the inside room. People that came for a certain act left as fans of them all. Across different scenes and social groups, the city came together to celebrate Detroit’s past, present, and future.

People made comments about how we are living through the 1970s again. “Our music is sampled from that era, our clothing is sampled from that era, our inflation, our precarious supply chain and gas markets, and a Democratic president who fumbles foreign policy.”

History might not repeat, but it has a rhythm.

Techno was invented in the 1980s in Detroit by the Belleville Three – Juan Atkins, Kevin Saunderson and Derrick May. The inspiration, of course, stretched back to the 1970s. They once described Detroit techno music as being a “complete mistake … like George Clinton and Kraftwerk caught in an elevator, with only a sequencer to keep them company.” 

Through sound, Detroit forged deep connections with Berlin, London, and other sonically predisposed centers of civilization.

The mid-1988 UK release of Techno! The New Dance Sound of Detroit, an album compiled with the help of ex-Northern Soul DJ and Kool Kat Records boss Neil Rushton (at the time an A&R scout for Virgin’s “10 Records” imprint), was an important milestone. It marked the introduction of the word “techno” in reference to a specific genre of music.

Boiler Room started with a webcam taped to a wall, opening a keyhole into London’s underground. Since 2010, they’ve built a unique archive spanning over 8000 performances by more than 5000 artists across 200 cities. Last week that history returned to its birthing chamber, Detroit.

The human body boils at just above 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily no one at Tangent was that hot, though I must say, some were very very close.

Writing and Photography by: Niki Williams

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