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Boiler Room Threw a Party at the Paris W Hotel

And it was amazing, surprisingly enough.

A few weeks back, I managed to wing my way into the kind of event that you only see in magazines with Cara Delevingne on the cover or hear about in Drake guest verses. The kind of event that has a canapé sponsor and a "no oligarchs" door policy.

The night in question – Do Not Disturb – was the unlikely collaboration between hipster hoteliers The W Hotel and the game-changing electronic music streaming channel/website/online behemoth, Boiler Room. A few years ago, this would have seemed as unlikely a collaboration as Ke$ha and Kassem Mosse, now it seemed to make perfect sense. Boiler Room has come a long way since its Red Stripe 'n' Theo Parrish beginnings, and the La Dolce Vita set have taken notice.


It's a testament to how far electronic music has come (and how low guitar music has sunk) in the last few years that people like Jaime Winstone and the omnipresent Miss Delevingne were head-nodding to the likes of Jimmy Edgar and Disclosure at the London instalment of this event.

The Paris leg was to be a slightly different affair, with a line-up that was as much heritage as it was future. The dominant sound in Paris for the last 15 years or so has, of course, been electro. Luckily, the people at Boiler Room are cannier than booking someone who once held a microphone in position for Thomas Bangalter, and instead managed to get down the likes of Alan Braxe and Cassius for the event. These are dudes more used to playing to 30,000 people at obscure Euro-festivals, but instead they found themselves spinning in some kind of Eyes Wide Shut-style secret party room in a four-star hotel. It wasn't exactly Tiësto at the Runcorn Travelodge conference room, but it was up there.

Arriving at the place, I began to wonder if I'd been mistaken for a visiting dignitary or a new Young Money signing. I was treated with the kind of cross-channel deference that the French normally reserve for visiting Normandy veterans and ushered up to something called the "E-Wow Suite". I expected to be shoved into a closet above the plumbing with a snoring sous chef, but here I was in a room with two TVs and a bottle of Belvedere. I expected every knock on the door to be an apologetic member of the concierge breaking the news to me that "a Mr Drake Aubrey is booked in here tonight, my colleagues will show you to your room, which is just by the airport". But it never came. Just people offering me chocolate, for some reason.


As keen as I was to drink red wine in the Faustian opulence of my suite, there was music to be listened to and more booze downstairs. DJ Deep got the show on the road with a set of quintessentially French electro-house, all broken robot voices and air raid sirens from the future. Ivan Smagghe took it a bit more rigid with his minimalist, almost techno approach to the sound, playing a set of tunes that Buffalo Bill from Silence of the Lambs would probably star on his Spotify account.

Then there was the surprise inclusion of Dimitri From Paris, the party music polymath whose remix of "I Wanna Be Your Lover" is so great that even Prince himself probably can't find a bad word to say about it, which is saying something. By this point, the endless champagne flutes I'd been throwing down my neck had began to take their toll. The gaseous French sparkling wine had inflated my very being and sent me floating around the room like some kind of brazen, pissed balloon.

Next up (I think) was Alan Braxe, a man whose claim to be the godfather of French electro is much stronger than most. The man's been doing this for years, and the expertly-judged set he dropped on the five o' clock shadowed Parisian hipster crowd proved just that. Then came Cassius, who were much the same. There's something great about seeing true DJ veterans at work, no matter what genre. Noble war horses of the party, still knowing when to drop what with the kind of expertise that the young pretenders will probably never possess, despite their Seratos and SoundClouds.

The night proved that yeah, French people still do love electro. But is that a bad thing? Most of the people who were playing Midnight Juggernauts remixes in 2008 would balk at the idea of dropping a seven-minute house edit back then, but now they're all budding Terrence Parkers. The niche scenes and sounds of electronic music goes in and out of fashion quicker than any other genre, but that doesn't mean that the great stuff can't remain timeless. Boiler Room is a company that understands this, rather than chasing the fads like so many others have done. I mean, any company that can book DJ Shadow and Surgeon is one that knows their shit.

Follow Wallace on Twitter: @mrwallaceark

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