Boxed In have never been an easy project to pin down.
Essentially an expression of the imagination of Oli Bayston, Boxed In can veer from psychedelic abandon to introverted solitude, often within the space of the same song.
New album 'Melt' is a courageous step forward, a brave, confident, and outward looking album that finds the group relishing their own voice.
Out now, Clash invited Oli Bayston to chart a few of the Influences that underpin their new record.
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The Velvet Underground - All Tomorrow’s Parties
I’ve obsessively listened to this song throughout my adult life and it wasn’t until I translated Boxed In as a predominantly electronic project in to playing with live instruments that I realised how important the percussive nature of the piano was. It really changed my style of playing. I initially loved the song for the hazy, trance like state it induced and didn’t associate to movement, more a static, trip experience. But when applied to danceable music, it made sense to try playing the piano in that way.
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Bill Evans - 'Round Midnight'
I turned inward on the new album and wrote many of the lyrics as if having a conversation with an alternate version of myself. I was inspired by Bill Evan’s album ‘Conversations With Myself’. Although there are no words on his record, the title itself was very evocative. The idea to combine closely knitted piano parts was the inspiration behind the ‘Black Prism’ loop from the new Boxed In album.
Bill’s music is usually very relaxing. Some of the tracks on ‘Conversations’ can be quite hectic. I wanted to try to create something dark and soothing out of something frantic. Like making sense of the madness.
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Cluster - 'Hollywood'
This is one of my favourite records from the insanely inventive German 70’s alternative music movement. Its co-produced by Michael Rother of Harmonia, Kraftwerk, and Neu. Michael did an incredible remix of ‘All Your Love Is Gone’ from the first Boxed in album. You can spot his guitar playing from a mile away. It just immediately sounded like Neu! I love how this track subtly references hypnotic Krautrock rhythms without ever fully planting its feet. It's very woozy. I’ve tried to emulate that wave like motion on some of the Boxed In tracks.
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Midlake - 'Roscoe'
As a song, this is up there with one my all time favourites. I can’t fully describe the effect it has on me. When it first came out in 2006, My good friend and old band mate in Keith Johnny and I listened to it almost every day for a good few months. I distanced myself from it for a while but I refound it recently and its brought me a lot of joy. The album ‘The Trials Of Van Occupanther’ is a great piece of work. It's a fictional narrative about a medieval village community going about their day, struggling with menial tasks and relationships.
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Pepe Bradock - 'Ghost'
I find it pretty hard to pick a favourite Pepe Bradcok track. To me, he’s the best house producer of all time, certainly one of the best French producers of our generation. He makes such unusual sample choices for his records. I still can’t find where he sampled the orchestra on this track from, so if anyone’s got any pointers, please shout them out. His drum production has been a huge influence on the second Boxed In album.
I tried to incorporate the loose but rolling grooves of live and electronic drums combined. Anyone not yet aware of Pepe should head towards 'Deep Burnt’ and ‘Cycles’ to begin with, then consume the whole back catalogue.
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'Melt' is out now. Catch Boxed In at the following shows:
29 London Kamio (Album Launch Party)
1 Brighton Patterns
2 Bristol Thekla
3 Glasgow Broadcast
4 Edinburgh Electric Circus
7 Liverpool Buyers Club
8 Birmingham Hare & Hounds
9 Manchester Deaf Institute
10 Cardiff Club Ifor Bach
11 Exeter MOVE