Boiler Room launches bold new multi-genre streaming platform


Since their launch in 2010, Boiler Room has been a frontier for creating and curating the best music, documentaries, and events from underground artists around the world, and giving them a global platform. Boiler Room is now proud to launch a unique, evolutionary space between a streaming service, publisher and platform with carefully curated content from some of the most innovative thinkers from around the world, the Netflix of the underground. 4:3 aims to expand gateways between image and sound by living across social channels, websites and physical spaces to drive a new cultural institution filled by curated seasons, themes and editorial with a mix of archive and underground films. 

Boiler Room’s newest project launched today, 4:3 is a multifaceted genre-spanning platform providing curated video content exploring themes of performance, identity, youth culture, marginalised voices, anti-establishment and the underground. Platform agnostic, 4:3 is for curious minds and those connected to culture, offering an exploration of unseen films and as well as in real life experiences, an opportunity to discover the unknown.

4:3 offers content for the curious, and opens a gateway into a hub of youth culture and identity online and in real life. With curated content from the avant-garde to the underground, this new venture marks a point of evolution for  Boiler Room as a cultural institution.

With a focus on identity, youth culture, performance and the underground, the curators of 4:3 are innovators of fashion, music, film and art. Short films have been selected by curators Elijah Wood, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Peaches, and Jenn Nkiru. 4:3 will showcase feature films and act as a cinema, screening forgotten gems, cult classics, festival-fresh films, and exclusive limited releases. 4:3 will also stream visionary shorts and music videos alongside a treasure trove of archive footage, available from 29th May. Watch the curator trailer here.

Elijah Wood is one of the industry’s most prolific actors, his career spans genres from blockbuster hits to indie flicks. He has also branched into the world of music, founding his own record label, Simian Records in 2005. In recent years, Wood has produced some of the most exciting arthouse films such as ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ and ‘Seven Stages to Achieve Eternal Bliss By Passing Through The Gateway Chosen By the Holy Storsh’, thus cementing the actors ability to tap into underground culture and contribute to burgeoning art projects.

Ryuichi Sakamoto is a renowned composer and electronic music pioneer. Often credited as inspiring the sound of hip-hop, electro and techno, he has worked with everyone from David Bowie to David Byrne. Sakamoto also won an Oscar for his score for the 1987 blockbuster ‘The Last Emperor’. Since then, the Japanese composer has continued to innovate with his musical endeavours, releasing the intimate documentary film ‘Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda’ last year to critical acclaim.

Canadian pan-sexual provocateur Peaches, is one of the fiercest and smartest presences in pop today. She has recorded songs with Pink, Karen O and, most memorably, with Iggy Pop and her music is studied as part of the Queer Studies course curriculum at the University of Toronto.

Jenn Nkiru is one of Britain’s most exciting burgeoning directors. Working with the likes of Kamasi Washington for his stunning ‘Fists Of Fury’ and ‘Space Travellers Lullaby’ music videos, Nkiru was also the mastermind behind the acclaimed Black Star video ‘Rebirth Is Necessary’. With a keen interest in the relationship between sound and vision, her style is often politically-tinged with a focus on blackness.

Boiler Room is proud to present its first piece of original content for 4:3, ‘Fleshback: Queer Raving in Manchester’s Twilight Zone’. Co-produced by the British Council, this powerful documentary is launching exclusively on 4:3. Directed by cutting-edge journalist and filmmaker Stephen Isaac-Wilson, ‘Fleshback’ explores the vivid history of queer culture in Manchester, and its enduring legacy. The film demonstrates 4:3’s ability to tell stories around underground cultures, unsung heroes and those untouched by the mainstream. Watch the trailer here.

In addition to curated content, 4:3 has acquired long form and full length documentaries including ‘The Rise of Neneh Cherry’, ‘Peaches Does Herself’, ‘Kuso’ (Flying Lotus’ debut feature film), ‘If I Think of Germany at Night and I Dream of Wires’, and Channel 4’s, ‘I Was There When House Took Over The World’.

In conjunction with the launch of the site, 4:3 will be presenting an ambitious tribute to Arthur Russell, the pioneering cellist and electronic musician. The exhibition, ‘Swimming with Arthur Russell’, the multimedia tribute in collaboration with the New York Public Library, will encompass all aspects of the artist, featuring pieces from his personal archives, a sound installation by electronic music producer Andy Stott, a broadcast party featuring DJ duo Optimo and a screening of cult documentary ‘Wild Combination’ before streaming on 4:3. The free exhibition runs from 30th May until 3rd June at St John on Bethnal Green. Watch the trailer here.

4:3 Creative Director, Amar Ediriwira says, “Holding a mirror up to Internet culture, 4:3 omnivorously pulls anything from a feature film to a music video to found footage to a meme. The platforms seeks to challenge notions of “high” and “low” art, all the while expanding the ways we experience moving image and sound.

4:3 will also be the stage for Boiler Room’s original filmmaking and commissions. The first original, “Fleshback”, traces a body-positive queer clubbing movement in Salford that takes its cues from wild Gaychester nights at the Hacienda back in the ‘90s.

Our launch event, ‘Swimming with Arthur Russell’, mixes film, sound art, photography, DJs, live music and installation work. Like Boiler Room, 4:3 is rooted in physical experience; our events are multi-faceted, connecting the dots between club culture and cinema to stretch the boundaries of what a film experience can be.”

Of the launch curators, Amar Ediriwira says, “We’re thrilled to announce Ryuichi Sakamoto, Peaches, Jenn Nkiru and Elijah Wood as launch curators for 4:3. We can’t think of a better group to cut through the noise to tell us what to watch.

It’s a huge honour to work with Ryuichi: the music of Yellow Magic Orchestra is hard coded in the DNA of Boiler Room and he is one the greatest filmic musicians of our times. For the launch of 4:3, he has curated three enchanting shorts from the Eastern margins.

The renegade queer icon that is Peaches has chosen two short films that explore the body, fluids and art. Later in the year, we’ll be re-releasing her provocative concert film ‘Peaches Does Herself’ with unseen extras and specials.

We love the way Jenn’s mind works. Her films in collaboration with people like Arthur Jafa and Kamasi Washington are otherworldly. She’s chosen two rarely seen titles of the LA Rebellion, including a short by Charles Burnett and a student film by Zeinabu Davis. Also, look out for a season of Afrofuturism, coming soon!

It’s an open secret that Elijah is a left-field crate digger with a Prince obsession – which will be the focus of something very special we have in the works for later in the year. For now he has picked two films that combine twisted humour and performance.”

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.