Techno Tuesday: ‘A Night In The Life Of’ Boxia
Techno Tuesday is a feature on Dancing Astronaut documenting the culture of underground dance music. We’ll bring you exclusive interviews, tracks, and narratives from artists within the techno, tech house, and deep house world in an effort to shed light on some of the best talent outside the world of mainstream dance music.
UK climber Boxia has asserted himself as a key talent in house/techno’s new guard. After honing in on his ferocious, big room take on underground music, it didn’t take long for Adam Beyer to notice the burgeoning talent and adopt him into the Drumcode fold. Since then, his name has become ubiquitous in the global sphere, and with good reason. A lifetime of DJing and producing experience under his belt has given Boxia a unique edge and ability to read his crowd, and adapt with chameleon-esque standards. Constant curiosity and will to self-improve is also a huge aspect of the producer’s ethos, which is why his music remains an ever-evolving force despite its overall cohesion under his signature sonic aesthetic.
This musical evolution is what eventually birthed Boxia’s upcoming album, A Night In The Life Of. It’s his first project of this type, naturally backed by Drumcode, serves as an aural expression and memory log of characters Boxia has met throughout his time on the dancefloor and beyond the decks. This isn’t so much an at-home listen, consume in one go type of LP; instead, it’s mostly club-focused, making the format more accessible and danceable. Curious to know more about the inspirations behind A Night In The Life Of, how Boxia brought his characters to life in song, and his overall process, we sat the producer down for Techno Tuesday to dish on the details.
Order a copy of ‘A Night In The Life Of,’ out June 3, here.
Your album carries a melodic motif to it. What has led you to this sonic direction, and how does it play into the overarching theme of you recounting your rave days?
Thanks, very good observation. I love to be moved by music. It can happen in all kinds of methods and sounds in production, but a melody to pluck away at nostalgia as well as being something interesting can add new dimensions to a track.
Each of the album’s songs are ascribed to a certain club character you’ve encountered, correct? Can you pick out a couple of these characters in particular, the song that represents them, and how you expressed their personalities in musical form?
Yes, that’s right some characters, some situations. The track ‘Where Are Your Friends’ is about a close friend who’d always go missing when we go out. The melody from that is my interpretation of how he was feeling when he was bouncing around the place having the time of his life on his own!
The track ‘Under The Bridge’ was more about a situation when I met up with a friend I hadn’t seen for 10 years at the first Junction 2, they arrived around dusk and we were walking up to the main stage but unable to see the crowd yet, buzzing full of anticipation, sound resonating from the distance. Then you first catch sight of what’s in front of you from the top of the slope and it’s a sight to behold. It was a moment I shared with a friend I’ll never forget.
Why is now the right timing for you to release your debut studio album?
Erm, I guess this is different for everyone. I’ve always had so many ideas for tracks, and a good idea on how to make an album tracklist flow and the opportunity came up. I worked as hard as I possibly could for a year to deliver something I felt was right for now…
Were there any tracks that were especially challenging to complete? Why?
Yes, most of them! ‘Ephenomenon’ stands out though. I had a massive wobble quite late on and changed the entire track – high and low drums, lead, and even the melody. The first version just sounded so dated the more I played it. I’m really glad I persevered and changed it.
Tell us about a rave memory that helped secure your goal to become a full-time member of the dance scene.
There are so many. I had a quite successful career before I decided to drop everything, make some sacrifices and give this my full attention. It’s not a memory as such, more an experience. There’s a level of passion in this industry whether you’ve just got into it or been in it for years. It’s really nice surrounding yourself with people at both ends of the scale, as it exposes you to both new ideas, and experienced opinions.
How has the raving affected your outlook on life over the years?
I didn’t have the best teenage years. I really struggled to grasp any purpose at that time of my life… Then I went raving week in, week out for as long as I could do it and my whole outlook completely changed. Everything made sense after that, I owe it all to those times.
You’ve ascended the techno ranks quite quickly, becoming a notable member of Drumcode’s newer generation. What are some obstacles you’ve overcome to get to where you are today?
There are so so many obstacles, every corner and every day. Something which is an everyday thing for many artists on the up, is the trap of comparing yourself to others. It’s so easy to get wrapped up in what’s going on around you, wondering how this person does this, or how they got that show. You have to respect what happens around you and concentrate on your own thing. The super talent Honey Dijon articulates it so well in this post
On the note of Drumcode, what factors make you and the imprint such a good match creatively/sonically?
One of the things I love is that you just have to scan the back catalogue to see how the label pushes forward and I like being a part of that. Adam pushes me to deliver the best I can, and you just can’t argue with his level of experience, ha. The whole team is extremely professional to work with too which is a blessing.
Now with charting club singles, and album, and heavy touring under your belt, where do you see yourself headed next in your career?
Oooo, let me think…
I will hopefully tour more. The challenge of playing in new territories is something I really love. I’d like to do some collabs in the near future too. I have some bits I’m working on I can’t reveal too, you’ll have to wait for that!
What else do you have in your pipeline at the moment?
I have a remix coming on a new vinyl label called APE-X from the UK of an artist called ‘Markse’ which is produced by Man Power (Me, Me Me). The release also includes a remix by Spencer Parker. Other than that, I’ve just changed my entire studio workflow and setup so I’m knee deep in learning again while at the same time writing new stuff. As for the rest, you’ll just have to watch this space.