The Boombox parties, held every Sunday night in London’s trendy Shoreditch-Hoxton district (that’s Sho-Ho for the foreigners in the back), are the latest addition to the fashion-n-music conflation started by Electroclash about six years ago, except now, we’re calling it nü-rave. And say what you want about the genre’s overtly populist agenda, its overall immaturity, its heavy reliance on vocals and its generally histrionic, over-the-top leanings, but when nü-rave works, it works, as displayed on this new mixed compilation for Kitsuné from Boombox regular Jerry Bouthier. Sure, some expected maximalist overplayed stars are included here (Digitalism, Simian Mobile Disco, a remix of Daft Punk), but Bouthier avoids the genre’s usual we-are-your-friends and standing-in-the-way-of-control traps in favor of lesser known cuts such as Headman’s recent ‘Catch Me’, Oliver Koletzki’s warm ‘Music From the Heart’ electro-house, Kitsunés latest noisy recruit Big Face, a brand new Mark Moore (under his lately resurrected SSExpress guise!), and a Glimmers featuring Princess Superstar sleazy collaboration. Bouthierrs own re-edits are aplenty, too, which makes for a compelling and attention-grabbing listen: seriously, compared to recent maximal compilations from Shir Khan or the Gang Bang Deejays, Kitsunn Boomboxx sounds truly focused and enjoyably well thought-out.
It should be a total banger, then, right? Therees only one critical problem, though: How am I supposed to care for the product when I am feeling this excluded by its very concept?
See, there are sixteen (sixteen!!) pages worth of liner notes (most of them from a Time Out London editor) and pictures explaining what Boombox is all about (creepy make-up and transvestite-like costumes for everyone, apparently) and why it is acceptable to have, for instance, segregationist door policies such as theirs. Then therees a bunch of self-legitimizing quotes from the likes of 2 Many DJs, The Glimmers, Trevor Jackson, Digitalism, Ajax and Mark Moore, all artists I usually care for and respect, trying to justify Boomboxxs glitterati. Even king-of-cool Headman is stating in there that thatts how clubs used to be and should be: great people, great atmosphere, and u can play what u want!!
See, IIm afraid to say this, Mr. Insinna, DJ Bouthier, and Kitsunn wrapped-in-expensive-cashmere-cardigan A&R people, but this definition of partying is definitely not what clubbing was nor what it should be. Truth be told, any dance parties operating on strict yet arbitrary codes related to appearances and surfaces are positing themselves against everything the original house movement was standing for: gay, straight, black or white, one nation under that proverbial groove. Of course, listening to Bouthierrs otherwise successful mix, you should be able to separate the music from its crappy ostentatious surroundings, but Boombox is putting so much emphasis on justifying itself that, in the end, you just cannt: music nowadays is hardly separated from the medium through which it comes at you, and in this case, the albumms booklet unfortunately speaks louder than actual content. Like the fragmented drag queen picture ornamenting its front cover, Kitsunn Boomboxx will make you feel torn: torn between everyonees comprehensible desire for an exclusive experience and the actual communal feeling that clubbing should engender. In other words, this album, in terms of recreating what Boombox is apparently all about (I have never been, but I obviously wouldnnt get in anyway), is an utter success, but one big high-heel step for the London fashionistas means one hundred steps backwards for the rest of the entire dance community.
4 for the music and the mixing, then, but zero out of 5 for the concept and the people. You do the math while I take a piss in the doormanns headless neck.
Wed / 21 Nov 2007
01 Siobhan Donaghy - Don’t Give it Up (JBAG's BoomBoxed intro)
02 Revolte - Weak Generation
03 Chromeo - Fancy Footwork (Guns ‘n’ Bombs remix)
04 S-Express - Stupid Little Girls (JBAG’s BoomBoxed remix)
05 Riot In Belgium - La Musique (JBAG’s BoomBoxed re-edit)
06 Feist - 1 2 3 4 (Van She remix)
07 Big Face - My Eyeball
08 Daft Punk - Technologic (Digitalism remix)
09 Oliver Koletzki - Music From The Heart
10 Simian Mobile Disco - Love
11 Headman - Catch Me (dub)
12 Glimmers & Princess Superstar - Wanna Make Out
13 Young Punx - Fire (dub)
14 Rex The Dog - Circulate (JBAG’s BoomBoxed re-edit)
15 Digitalism - Pogo (Shinichi Osawa dub)