Here’s what went down at the buzzy Boiler Room festival in Peckham.
Through their True Music partnership, Ballantine’s and Boiler Room have been committed for several years now to reflect the constant morphing of the underground music scene, pushing its emerging artists to centrestage. Following on with this tradition, this year they launched the first edition of the Boiler Room No Headliners festival. Bringing together a carefully curated selection of new artists across four genres, the festival ensured that the walls of Peckham would shake over the span of its four day run.
On the third night, regular Boiler Room collaborator Ballantine’s took over the festival and brought to the crowd an immersion into the UK born and bred genre of bass music. If there’s one thing that the underground community can commonly agree on it’s probably the fact that bass is impossible to label. Originally a mixture of dubstep, house and grime, the genre has quickly become an experimental playground for artists bringing in more and more external influences. Electro, trap, skank, afro-house…. there’s a familiar rhythm for everyone when listening to bass, which might explain why the genre was able to grow so easily within the international club scene.
These blurred lines around the frontiers of bass, as well as Ballantine’s dedication to promote “borderless music”, showed through at the Boiler Room Festival. From day one, a quick stroll through the different sets was guaranteed to offer a variety of different energies and atmospheres. From the rumbling percussions of Ahadadream and SNØW to the grime-infused set of Oblig – not forgetting the impromptu dancehall session of Jamie Rodigan and the easy skanking of legendary Aba Shanti-I – we were in for a true multi-genre experience. Halfway through the night, it was hard not to take a minute to relish in what had become an inevitable fate: bass veterans and curious newbies feverishly coming together in the damp atmosphere of a South London basement, allowing themselves to instinctively move along to the music.
It was yet another successful night for the True Music partnership, making us eager for what’s to come in the wake of their new phase, Take A Stand For True Music, aimed at “collaborating on a grassroots level to ensure local music scenes thrive across the globe”.