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Boxed In At Annenberg Space For Photography, Saturday July 25th 2015 Review

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Boxed In

 

The UK band Boxed In could not have been happier to be opening for TV On The Radio at the Annenberg Space for Photography on Saturday night, they said several times that that TVOTR was their favorite band of all time, and it sounded true. This KCRW ‘Sound in Focus’ concert was also their Los Angeles debut, and they had their biggest crowd ever.

Boxed in was a quartet but it is mostly the work of British record producer Oli Bayston, who was on vocals and keyboard. Named after the famous painting by Francis Bacon, their music was truly original, mixing dance elements with surprising krautrock textures and pop synth melodies, reinventing a genre, half funk disco, half new Neu. They reminded me a bit of this Los Angeles band, De Lux, although Boxed In were much more keys-driven and much more LCD Soundsystem than Talking Heads?

‘All You Love Is Gone’ was anxious and steady key stabs over krautrock grooves, building the song up into some infectious and intense dance-y trance that the two guys behind me were totally digging, ‘Soooo good!’ they said several times. On some tunes, it was Neu-Can meet the dance floor, although the Krautrock part was not too obvious, whereas other songs had jazz-like elements while Bayston’s bright and almost dreamy vocals were keeping the songs on the poppy side.

‘Bug’ was a light and playful piano-riff earworm going into circles, ‘False Alarm’ was more dense and tense, even artsy and sophisticated with funky bass lines and this insisting piano giving the tempo. KCRW’s DJ Jason Bentley introduced them by saying they had recorded one of his favorite albums of the year, and I can hear why, many of the songs were begging for a remix, and it is actually already done for some of them.

Their performance was fun, generating endless dance grooves in the crowd that Oli Bayston was watching all- smile, looking visibly happy and a bit surprised. it is this in-demand producer’s first solo adventure, and it is a very good thing.

More pictures here.

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