As We See It

The ghetto blaster returns in a new guise

Photo: Mary-Anne Sarao

Grandma’s luggage has never been so badass. Dominic Odbert, aka Mr. SiMo, and his brother J.P. have built a better boombox that’s so cool it replaced “llama” on the top of our “things we want right now” list.


Old suitcases from antique stores and estate sales are transformed into portable stereos. “Some cases are from the ’30s and ’40s,” says Odbert. “Some will have tags on them from actual people, and we usually leave those on the cases.”

While the outside of the BoomCases are retro, the components inside are brand-new, so cases are filled to protect the gear. “We might try to figure out a way to leave some space open,” Odbert says, for those who want to tote more than banging tunes.

The San Francisco-based bros are no strangers to sound. For years their converted Army truck, known as the Temple of Boom, was a staple in the Lovevolution Parade. Plus, they’ve been making experimental electronic music and building synthesizers for more than 10 years. “We wanted to come up with a way to play music more portable than a truck,” says Odbert.

BoomCase construction takes about a week. “I like to do a lot of testing on the case to make sure everything’s working and also test out the battery life,” says Odbert. Anything with a headphone jack can be used to play music via the BoomCase, and they’ll even add a USB charger upon request. Each one-of-a-kind rig starts at about $300 and goes up depending on size and components, though they’ll reduce the price if you provide your own case.

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