Over the summer, Boiler Room hosted “Tra Intergaláctico,” a showcase of global DJs fully devoted to reggaeton and dembow, new sonic territory in the BR landscape. Facebook comments from Boiler Room’s most vocal house and techno-geared online audience members indicated that they didn’t quite grasp the concept behind the showcase, but no matter – if event organizers were looking to shake things up, they succeeded. Boiler Room stretched itself in a new direction with this showcase, showing its ambitions to innovate with its brand and reach new audiences. The lineup was a sweat-shining example of the evolution of the genre, definitely worthy of starting conversations about the genre’s intersections.
Brooklyn’s Riobamba masterminded the night through her emerging label and intercultural creative agency APOCALIPSIS, whose motto “ni de aquí, ni de allá” was well-reflected in the night’s international lineup and recurring appearances of flags from the respective artists’ countries, brandished in the hands of both the DJs and dancers. Riobamba’s own heated set was part of a curatorial game plan that becomes clear as you watch the night’s streams.
What you’ll hear: the thrusting old school of Mexico’s Rosa Pistola. A pair of Brooklyn DJs that preside over the city’s most forward-thinking Afro-diasporic parties: Papi Juice’s Oscar Ñn and Vibras NYC’s DJ Bembona. Standing at an angle to the other talent was boss headliner DJ Playero, who pioneered the genre in the late 90s through his work on projects like Vico C’s Recta Final. Playero proudly sported a shirt that read “Reggaeton Old School,” which didn’t indicate that he was going to restrict his set to the classics, exactly. At one point, he sent Ed Sheeran’s ubiquitous dancehall-lite hit “Shape of You” soaring out over the slightly shell-shocked Boiler Room audience. In outer space perreo, anything is possible.
Revisit all the sets below, or head over to Boiler Room’s Tra Intergaláctico session page.