International pop-up party Boiler Room has enlisted some of the best producers and DJs to play RSVP-only parties in intimate spaces; the performances are then broadcast around the world. If you haven’t made it out to one of Boiler Room’s shows just yet you can get a sneak peek of the hubbub and easily lose several hours by scrolling through archival footage of past performances from heavy hitters such as Frankie Knuckles and Teklife masters DJ Rashad, DJ Spinn, RP Boo, and Manny. Boiler Room celebrates its five-year anniversary Wednesday with five parties spanning the globe . . . but none of those gatherings are in Chicago. Fortunately our city hasn’t entirely been forgotten. Tomorrow night Boiler Room launches “Chicago vs. Detroit,” a small flurry of shows descending upon our city and, yes, Detroit.
The series isn’t so much a battle between the two cities and their distinct electronic sounds—broadly speaking, Chicago house and Detroit techno—but a celebration of the connections between the two that have existed and persisted through decades of musical evolution. Each city is hosting a nighttime and daytime party, showcasing acts from both locales, and Chicago gets to lead the charge tomorrow night at Evil Olive. Among the artists representing the D will be Detroit Techno Militia, who are going to bust out six turntables for the affair, and Terrence Parker, a Detroit house veteran who’s been spinning since the 80s and will be making his Boiler Room debut; on the local side of things we’ll have DJ Heather as well as old-school vet Joe Smooth, who is partnering up with vocalist Sterling Void.
Among the highlights at the Chicago daytime party on Wednesday are Argot Soundsystem (aka Argot honcho Steve Mizek, Smart Bar talent buyer Olin, and Savile) and Africans with Mainframes, which consists of Noleian Reusse and Jamal Moss, aka Hieroglyphic Being. I can’t fully recommend the Detroit shows—after all, not all of us can ditch all our daily responsibilities to hit the road for last-minute shows. But if you can swing it, head east for the second show in Detroit on Sunday, which is a nighttime party that features local luminaries Farley “Jackmaster” Funk and Merwyn Sanders performing as Virgo Four. For all the details, and to RSVP to each party, head to Boiler Room’s “Chicago vs. Detroit” site. To prepare for the festivities I leave you with a visceral 2014 Boiler Room performance from Chicago native Svengalisghost, which I wish I could’ve seen for myself.