Oh, Boiler Room. Never before have so many people gently elbowed their way into the purview of a fixed camera with the intention of nonchalantly swaying their way to streaming screen-time glory. The organization has been one of the dominant tastemakers in the electronic music world for the past few years, as everyone from Carl Cox to Disclosure have graced the decks of whatever dingy warehouse the crew have finagled for that weekend.
Deep in the archives, though, are some of the most bizarre and confusing performances we've ever witnessed. Here are some of the best. worst? weirdest? We don't even know anymore…
Anklepants, May 20, 2014 (Berlin)
Anklepants showed up to Boiler Room dressed in a candy-colored nylon gown and wearing his off-putting animatronic dick mask. He then proceeded to prance around the basement for an hour with his face-phallus twirling the whole time. In typical hipster fashion, the showgoers were…nonplussed.
DIVA - April 4, 2013 (Toronto)
This boiler room set looks like it took place in a hangar for tiny planes or an alien's dorm room. Neither setting could have prepared the throng of confused looking boys for the spectacle about to unfold in front of them. Like an arts n' crafts instructor from Lothlorien, Diva channeled "the creative force of the universe" through a hands-free microphone and twirled around to Grimes b-sides while singing about seraphims and nobody else in the room moved an inch. Amazing.
Michael Jukeson - Jan 18, 2014 (NYC)
showed up in a muscle tee and a mullet and played IDM beats so minimal that they were barely there. He spent the whole set changing t-shirts. We counted 20 wardrobe changes at least.
Otto von Schirarch - May 20, 2014 (Berlin)
The weirdest thing about Otto von Schirarch is that sometimes the beats are actually pretty good. The first 16 minutes of this set feature some ghetto-tech swag, fair enough, but then
disappears and a man in a chicken mask screams some hardcore vocals for what seems like an eternity but is probably only a couple of minutes. Schirarch then returns in a retro-futurist spacesuit and goes hard for another hour with the booty bass. Occasionally, he raps poorly over the tunes and attendees in farm animal masks show off questionable dance moves. He seems like the kind of guy who should be RiFF RaFF's friend.
Dntel - Feb 18, 2013 (Los Angeles)
You may know DNTEL as the 'tech' side of emo-tech duo The Postal Service. This Boiler Room feed finds him standing awkwardly in front of a set of decks by his lonesome for 30 minutes. Nobody dances. Nobody moves. It's like a game of freeze tag except everybody loses. Around the 29 minute mark, he calls for help and swims to safety. It's sad.
Pharaoh Chromium - Feb 5, 2013 (Berlin)
If you thought Anklepants was the extent of bizarre costumery at Boiler Room, think again. He was preceded by Pharaoh Chromium, clad in a gold-plated squid mask and with what looks like a petrified geoduck bong in tow, blaring obscene soundscapes for half an hour. The crowd reactions are excellent. They begin amused and curious, but by the 20th minute, they look angry and despondent. Their faces represent the whole pantheon of sadness.
Erykah Badu - Oct 11, 2012
We've got mad respect for Erykah Badu and for
Low End Theory
in general, but as the first few minutes of this video lay front and center, Badu should probably practice DJing a 'lil more before getting on stage again. This thing is such a trainwreck that we're shocked she didn't get slapped with a manslaughter charge.
Damian Lazarus - Oct 13, 2013 (London)
By this point in the game, we've accepted that Damian Lazarus is a weirdo. The whole
There Will Be Blood
aesthetic he's got going on is unabashed creep-status. But there's a pirate/druid vibe in this performance that just took it to a whole new level. The people in the crowd channeling
Eyes Wide Shut
just lead to an overload of wonkiness.
Frikstailers - Dec 11, 2012 (London)
We get down with Frikstailers
for sure, but you have to
their futuro-cumbia stylings to actually get an idea of how ridiculous their get-ups are.
Special Mention: Has to go to Grimes for her pseudo-troll of Richie Hawtin's Ibiza pool party. The impish 'lil Canadian (is there a possible DIVA relation here?) dropped Vengaboys' "We Like To Party" in addition to Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You" and Daddy Yankee's "Gasolina" to a bunch of confused looking bikini clad Spanish babes. This performance was apparently so offensive to the Boiler Room brass that there is no trace of it on the internet.
More Boiler Room shenanigans:
The Boiler Room Finally Comes to Pittsburgh
The Panacea Just Played the Most Hardcore Boiler Room Party in History
Grimes' Boiler Room Set Will Go Down in History
For his upcoming Boiler Room set, Jemayel is going to sit on a goat and play the lute - @Jemayelk