Boxed In | Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Boxed In

A Legacy Unpacked

Jan 30, 2015 Boxed In Bookmark and Share

The bulk of the weight of Oli Bayston’s musical constructions as Boxed In rests upon two pillars: the motorik rhythms of Krautrock and the heady core of Chicago house. “Krauss music,” Bayston jokes over the phone when asked if this is a fair description of Boxed In. “That is absolutely right, and they’re obviously related. A lot of early house came from the same people who created Krautrock. Kraftwerk were responsible for inspiring all the best house and techno producers. Trying to combine the two has been quite an interesting thing.”

Luckily for him, it has resulted in quite an interesting thing, too. U.K. label Moshi Moshi released Boxed In’s debut single late in 2013. A tight, driven piece of minimal disco pop that relies on insistent bass lines and piano keys, “All Your Love is Gone” is the perfect example of what to expect from Bayston’s self-titled debut album, which is out in the U.S. via Nettwerk on March 31. To emerge with such a complete and fully formed vision is often expected of bands today, though few have done so with such claritya fact that becomes less surprising when you learn that Bayston has been surrounded by music all his life.

“I come from quite a musical family. My dad is a classical musician. He’s a singer and a piano teacher. My mom was a singer as well, so it was pretty hard to avoid at home. I just embraced it, really,” he explains. “To an extent, I did rebel against it because it was, in a way, forced upon me, particularly the classical music. It wasn’t until I started attempting to write songs at the age of 15 or so on the piano that I started to really enjoy music again after years of resenting it a little bit.” Bayston has spent the years sinceboth in Manchester (his hometown) and now Londonwriting with Lily Allen, assisting producer Dan Carey (TOY/Bat For Lashes), and producing Rose Elinor Dougal’s new album.

“I don’t really know if I had any specific sonic template in place at the age of 15, but that’s definitely something I’m extremely interested in focusing on now; to create a key sound,” he says, when asked how those intervening years have affected his work. “It becomes about more than just emulating or interpreting the things that impress you. I really enjoy creating something from the ground up and being able to call it my own. I think most of them just come from a sporadic moment of writing. I’ll just be with my piano and a thought will come to mind, I’ll put it down and it will end up evolving into a song that I’ll decide to keep. They all have, to me at least, a very specific Boxed In sound.”

It’s about more than just a sound for Bayston, though. It’s a complete aesthetic. “The artwork [done by Sam Mason] does such a great job of trying to convey the concept of being boxed in. Hopefully that is something that anyone who has tried to create can relate to. In many ways you’re constrained by your ability or lack of ability to do something. The intent being to become un-boxed, I guess. Boxed Out?! That’ll be the remix album!”

[Note: This article first appeared in Under the Radar’s September/October print issue (Issue 51).]


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