Boxed In is the name that London based producer Oli Bayston has chosen to give to his first solo venture. He used to be in a band called "Keith" (what a British name!) but now produces and contributes vocals to his own music. His debut album is out today (19th January) and sounds like a really interesting collection of songs. The most important element to his music is the sense of danceability that can be found. Generally the album consists of Housey style drums, in conjunction with a prominently featured keyboard/piano part. It's the sort of style that is reminiscent of Hot Chip and I have seen an article on the Guardian's music section where the similarities have been mentioned. It is definitely true that in the beats there are parallels, but where I can also hear it in Oli Bayston's voice which reminds me of Alexis Taylor from Hot Chip's voice. There is a gentle charm and tone which can be found in both of them. It's this endearing quality that has sustained Hot Chip through 5 albums and hopefully it will do the same in Boxed In's case.
There are many highlights on the album, but my particular favourites are track 1 entitled "Mystery" and track 5 "No Joke". There is this really cool, simple and prominent keyboard riff at the heart of "Mystery" which I love. I also love the fact it sounds like a 1970's funk track. "No Joke" has got a cool and smooth 2-step garagey beat at it's core, but played on real drums. And there is this real subtle bassline that keeps moving through the tune that I really like as well. And as I have mentioned before the gentle charm of Oli Bayston's vocals comes through into this track really well.
It's a really great way to discover that there are new UK acts coming through with such deliciously sounding danceable music that haven't been super-super hyped, but are just coming through with quality. It's the sort of stuff that makes you start thinking of festivals already. The album is released on Nettwerk Records.