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Steven Boardman - The Boardroom Music Collective Interview

Reported by Harderfaster / Submitted 16-10-11 11:45

Cast your mind back to 2006 – as the end of the last economic boom began to dawn, a motley mob of like-minded electronic dance-music producers, created The Boardroom Studio, with their feverish imaginations, some old steam-powered synthesizers, and a hand-cranked sequencer.

The Boardroom Music Collective’s plan involved many aspects – they would create their own seductive sounds and play them live, while self-managing their own label, publishing, and promoting parties. An exercise in 360º propagation where they use all their guile, skill, and front, amassed through decades of experience in The Global Acid House War.

Frankfurt’s Klang Elektronik, and London’s Rotters Golf Club then made unrefuseable offers. Singles and albums followed, as well as remixes, production, and writing credits for major names like; Alter Ego, Battant, Doves, Fuck Buttons, Johannes Heil, Manic Street Preachers, Primal Scream, Siouxsie, Toob and Two Lone Swordsmen. DJ support came from a multitude of heavyweights, including: Sven Vath, Dave Clarke, Adam Beyer, Luke Slater, Justin Robertson, Roman Flugal and Marko Nastic. Boardroom Live have also played at some of the world most prestigious techno institutions clubs including Berlin’s Panorama Bar, London’s Fabric and Offenbach’s Robert Johnson.

The Boardroom Music Collective recently decamped from its Shoreditch bunker to prepare for their next step - their new imprint, ‘The Boardroom Presents…’ Different mixes available across formats, including very limited hand printed vinyl. A launch party at The City Arts & Music Project on October 22nd will be celebrating the first release, with sets from Boardroom Live, Justin Robertson, Will Saul & Jay Blatch.

We grabbed a few words with Chairman Of The Board (room) – Steven Boardman to hear what the Collective have been up to.

So what’s been been happening at Boardroom HQ in the lead-up to the label launch?

Been getting the website together in preparation for release so we can propagate and disseminate information from a central point. Alongside that we’ve been organising the release schedule, mastering the tunes by rubbing down the tracks to a fine oak finish.

What’s the agenda for the label?

We would like to get tracks out every six weeks to keep the market in ammunition, while continuing to maintain a live presence through our own events and various live gigs around the world. We’ll also be experimenting with various hand-printing techniques to make optimal collectors items for the few who track down the very limited editions through our website.

How would you describe the sound of the Boardroom?

Off-kilter Balearic Techno Disco Dub.

You’ve successfully promoted parties around London with the Collective, featuring a glittering array of guests including: Andrew Weatherall, Craig Richards, Leftfield’s Paul Daley, Billy Nasty & The Orb’s Alex Patterson amongst others. What have you got arranged for the launch party on Oct 22nd?

We have a new live show, which will feature tracks from the most recent release – Radical Majik’s ‘Mental Health EP”, amongst other Boardroom favourites. We also have two great DJs playing: Justin Robertson, who needs no introduction after his years served in the Acid House Crusades, and super-producer Will Saul from the very excellent label ‘Simple Records’. Our co-promoter Jay Blatch from Futuristix completes the line-up in fine style, all the way from Tel-Aviv.

Tell us a little about your musical history and how the Boardroom came about?

I got into sound at a very early age, with the aid of my fathers reel-to-reel tape recorder – I was recording nursery rhymes by the age of five! Later on I became obsessed with sound and was permanently attached to that reel-to-reel. I also got into computers with the aid of a Sinclair ZX81 and after listening to Kraftwerk found a way to combine the two by forming various bands, where I could look after the electronic side of things. Later as a freelance engineer/programmer and writing/composing/mixing various TV and film music.

Following on from this I hankered after more collaboration (back to the my early days in bands), and as such rented a room of much disrepair which I turned into a studio. The first person I collaborated with was Jon Vick, whom I had worked with previously (when he was at Locked On Records). It was he who came up with the name – ‘The Boardroom’. He used to call me ‘Boardy’, so it was Boardy’s room. I continued collaborating with many other people there, who I formed artist groups with. These are the people who became the collective. The likes of Pete Lazonby, Rad Rice, James ‘Sterling’ Moss and Dave Congreve all featured, plus quite a few others.

What’s your take on the dance scene at the moment; do you still find the current spate of techno & house releases inspiring?

It can be very difficult to wade through the masses of generic music these days. Anyone can download a load of loops and stick em together (or even edit an actual release), but it takes time and effort to make it unique and interesting. This why I still love making music, I want to make something that has a personality that is different from the norm. There is still nothing better than the feeling of being on the dance floor and hearing a new tune resonate your solar plexus and send chills down your spine. This hasn’t changed. There is lots of good music out there, its just harder find through the sheer volume.

You mentioned Kraftwerk being an inspiration - how relevant do you feel their music is today?

Most modern genres of music have a lot to thank Kraftwerk for. You can hear their influence from the chart, to a dirty basement club. They are as fresh for me now as they were when I first heard then at the age of 11 or 12.

You seem to have embraced the digital age, running the Collective’s website and maintaining a good web presence. How do you feel internet technology can be fully utilised in music production?

For me the best thing about the internet is the access to new ideas and likeminded people (if you can find them). It is a great tool for finding out solutions to problems and finding new ways of doing things. To fully utilise this resource you really need to put something back in and contribute to others. You will be surprised how much one can learn by helping others.
With the onset of cloud computing, I see a rosy collaborating and sharing future. Interfaces that allow users to participate in real time with their collaborators wherever they are.

You are producing vinyl for the label as well as providing digital downloads, do you feel the internet can destroy motivation for releasing music on-line because of illegal sharing?

Well if your motivation for producing music is from a money point of view, forget it. For me music is a hobby and a means of communicating with myself, others around and with me. A sound board as such. I would do any job to make sure that part of my life survives. It is just fortunate that I have been able to survive by doing it. The thing about downloading for me is that there is no personality in it, no investment, which ultimately devalues the very thing we cherish. For me, if you are going to use anything that enhances what you are, or do, or any product or service you provide, be it a DJ set, a play list for your partner or just your street cool factor, buy it. You will love it more, and it will love you twice as much back.

I love actuality, artefacts that exist in reality that will still be here after ones hard drive fails. That’s why we are doing hand printed vinyl. No mixes will cross formats. The analogue product is the premium one, as you can never make them identical. I have also worked out a way to make each digital version different, not by encryption or copy protection but by a unique musical identifier that compliments the audio in a way that does not detract from the content. I just need to automate the whole process.

The first release on the label is called ‘Mental Health EP’; will the music have psychologically enhancing benefits?

Well I would like to say all Boardroom tunes have psychological benefits, they should have, as most of my collaborators are off their trolleys! Come see us on the 22nd, I am pretty sure the crowd will be too!

Studio weapon of choice?

Mackie Control and my crusty, trusty NS10s. These days though you can make music on anything, you don’t need a kitchen sink, although they do sound good. I am more interested in the room than the gear these days - it is something that is often forgotten in this ‘one box does everything’ world. In a reflective, saturated, vibe less room, it will always be an unpleasant creative process.

What’s next for the Boardroom Music Collective?

The Pub.

For more info on the Boardroom Music Collective go to:
Facebook Group:

All photos courtesy of Steven Boardman. Not to be reproduced without permission.

The Boardroom Vs FuturistiX:Label Launch
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On: Saturday 22nd October
At: The City Arts And Music Project (The CAMP) [map]

From: 22.00 - 04.00
Cost: £8 B4 11pm, £12 After, Early Bird Tickets available from or
Ticket Info: Early Bird Tickets available from:

Buy Online: Click here to buy tickets
More: The Boardroom Vs FuturistiX
Launching the brand new record label : 'The Boardroom Presents..'
The City Arts & Music Project (Basement)
70 - 74 City Road
London EC1Y 2BJ
Saturday October 22nd
10pm - 4am

JUSTIN ROBERTSON (The Deadstock 33S)
WILL SAUL (Aus/Simple)
BOARDROOM LIVE (Presenting Radical Majik's New Mental Heath E.P.)
JAY BLATCH (FuturistiX)

Early Bird Tickets available from:


£8 B4 11pm, £12 After


In the Spring of 2010, and after Buckets of hot releases on Klang Elektronik & Rotters Golf Club, The Boardroom Music Collective decamped from its Shoreditch bunker to prepare for their next step. A new website, new label, new release, and a new co-promoted night, The Boardroom is back.
Their new imprint, The Boardroom Presents…distributed by Prime Direct, will have different mixes across formats, with very limited hand printed vinyl.
First Release Oct 24 2011: Radical Majik's Mental Health EP (TBRP001)

grab a preview here

Boardroom Live have played many great venues around the world, including ; London’s Fabric, Berlin’s Panorama Bar, Frankfurt’s Robert Johnson and Copenhagen’s Culture Box. Using decks, FX, guitar, bass and all manner of odd electronic equipment to create unique performances each time.

Jay has been heavily influenced by old blues & jazz records and has an eclectic taste encompassing a very wide range of music.
His vinyl addiction started in 2000 and since then he's been staying loyal to the sound & feel of wax. His mixing combines the deeper side of house & techno with a touch of detroit & chicago.
Jay is also the man behind FuturistiX, a party collective started in Tel-Aviv in 2007, where Jay has been importing world wide DJ's to his parties overseas.
He is also taking care of bookings for other international promoters who run their nights in Israel with guests from London & Berlin.

Justin Robertson’s tastes have always been catholic though in 2011 you would be hard pushed to find a musician working successfully in areas as diverse as dancehall, house and art pop. Justin is a true modernist: he excels as a DJ of international repute; is a creator of bespoke acid house; a remixer for the likes of Steve Mason, The Mystery Jets, Radio 4, Bjork,The Whip ,Cherry Ghost and Felix Da Housecat and, has co-written an album with studio boffin Gez Dewar under the name Thee Earls,and most recently is enjoying great success and a new generation of admirers with his latest moniker The Deadstock 33s

The Deasdtock 33s provide a perfect marriage of psychedelic disco, proto house ,intriguing songs and fresh production all with a visceral live feel.The Deadstock 33s have certainly added a refreshing new dimension to the dancefloor, with acclaimed remixes for Erol Alkan, Boysnoize, Stopmakingme, The Mystery Jets, Shadowdancer, Steve Mason and In Flagranti to name but a few, The Deadstock 33s are getting plays from the worlds top cutting edge Djs and a re truly in the accent ! The next few months will see the release of an exciting collaboration with Stopmakingme coming out on Fatboy Slim’s Southern Fried , a series of eps including some for Justin’s new label ”solitary cyclist” an ep for ‘is it Balearic’ and an album in the offing its going to be a big year!

Will Saul is the producer and DJ behind Simple Records and Aus Music. His sound is based in deep dubdiscohousetechno with flashes of soul and irresistible melodies that hark back to the early days of Detroit (from Motown to Planet E). Over the years Will has gained an admirable reputation as not only a show-stealing DJ, but also a talented A&R and producer. He’s remixed for Chicken Lips, Jesse Rose, Manuel Tur, Cortney Tidwell, Solomun, Pearson Sound/Ramadanman, Phonique, Appleblim, Scuba and The Juan Maclean (DFA) to name just a few. Will was resident at the legendary End club in London for many years before it closed it’s doors and mixed and compiled the 15th edition of the renowned Balance CD series. The press response to this was superb with Will featuring on the cover of DJ magazine and receiving compilation of the month in DJ/IDJ and Mixmag whilst making the top 20 compilations of 2010 on Resident Advisor.

Look out for Will’s second full artist album in early 2012, which will feature collaborations with Scuba, Appleblim, Fink, Joe Dukie (Fat Freddy’s Drop), Paul St.Hilaire, Charlene Soraia, and Detachments.
Region: London
Music: House. Deep House. Funky House. Prog House. Tribal House. Electro House. Soulful House. Tech House. Deep Techno. Funky Techno. Minimal Techno. Techno. Breaks. Electro. Disco. Soul.
DJ's: Justin Robertson (The Deadstock 33S)

WILL SAUL (Aus/Simple)

BOARDROOM LIVE (Presenting Radical Majik's New Mental Heath E.P.)

JAY BLATCH (FuturistiX)

Who's Going? (1) : Axiom 

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The views and opinions expressed in this review are strictly those of the author only for which HarderFaster will not be held responsible or liable.

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