London's Cultural Guide

Enter the Boom Room

Party at the likes of Big Chill House, Village Underground and The Social with live reverb from far-flung locations across the UK

Sound effects – the warping, distorting, twisting manipulation of recorded sounds – sit right at the heart of modern music.

Of course, clever computer plugins now handle much of the legwork, but in the early days, effects such as reverb were often created architecturally.

And it’s this relationship between music and environment that has spawned a series of forthcoming events known as the Boom Room project, popping up everywhere from the Big Chill House on Pentonville Road to a disused nuclear airforce base over the coming weeks.

The project is the brainchild of feted Norwegian techno trailblazer Mental Overdrive (aka Per Martinsen) and DJ/all-round creative type Ben Osborne, who celebrates a decade of throwing his cross-platform art collective events, Noise of Art, in 2015 too.


Noise of Art's Ben Osborne
Noise of Art’s Ben Osborne

“We’re inspired by the role sound manipulation has played in electronic music,” says Ben. “Just as early recording studios were actually built to have reverb, we’re creating effects chambers in unusual architectural locations, such as the gin distillery at Adnams brewery in Southwold, and an aircraft hanger at an old US forces base.

“Then, these giant effects units will be linked over broadband connections for us to use in manipulating the sound live at our party venues.”

It’s an ambitious, appropriately loopy endeavour, and one that’s perfectly placed for inclusion in this year’s Convergence Festival, which showcases visual art and music pioneers known for deploying technology in the most innovative ways.

Per and Ben launch the Boom Room at Convergence on Monday 16 March at Village Underground, where they’re joined by tirelessly creative electronic music don Andrew Weatherall, plus White Noise Sound and Eat Lights Become Lights, both from the Kentish Town-based Rocket Girl Records stable. (Read our interview with label boss Vinita here.)

What will it all sound like? Who knows, but it’s sure to resonate, loop and reverb its way up and down the country once those vast effects chambers are brought into the mix.

Find out more about Convergence, which also includes workshops, discussions and artist talks with Matthew Herbert and George Clinton as part of FutureFest.
More on the Boom Room project and associated Noise of Art events here

Key events to look out for:

Friday 13th March: Noise of Art & Heavenly Social present White Noise (Live)
Noise of Art enters its tenth year with a rare performance by ground-breaking 1960s electronic act White Noise Sound, who play material from their new, unfinished LP, live for the first time, plus DJs Heavenly Jukebox, Ben Osborne, David Agrella
The Social, 5 Little Portland St, W1W 7pm-2am. Tickets £6.50

Saturday 14th March: Mental Overdrive b2b Ben Osborne + guests
The creative partnership behind the Boom Room project warm-up for the launch of their echo chamber escapades with a back to back session at this venerable King’s Cross party destination.
Big Chill House, 257-259 Pentonville Rd, N1 Free Entry 8pm-3am

Monday 16th March: Boom Room at Convergence
Andrew Weatherall
Eat Lights Become Lights (new live show debut)
White Noise Sound (LP Launch)
Mental Overdrive (Love OD, Norway)
DJ Ben Osborne (Noise of Art)
Saycet (France) LP Launch
Clara Brea
Convergence Festival, Village Underground, 54 Holywell Lane, EC2A 7pm-midnight £10 Advance

Eat Lights Become Lights: debuting their new live show
Eat Lights Become Lights: debuting their new live show

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