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Introspective drum ‘n’ bass finds its voice in talented producers like BoxPlot. The Boston-based producer first caught the attention of the dnb world back in 2015 and has been making a name for himself via his unique brand of dreamy beats ever since.
His newest piece of work, an EP called Alice, arrives on Liquicity Records on Sept. 6. Hear its opening track, “Voicemail Poems,” and learn more about the work that went into the EP below.
Tell us a little bit about the making of this EP.
The initial idea came from my tune “My Non-Existent Friend, Alice,” but not from the tune itself. It came from the people in the YouTube comments sorta wondering “who is this person” or “why is she non existent.” That got me wondering if I should build this story further into an EP, and so I did. The making of Alice was a pretty grueling and extensive—1.5 years or so—but it was definitely fun. I’m very meticulous when it comes to writing songs because I nitpick on literally every detail and I absolutely want to make sure that it’s 100 percent the direction I want to go in. As for production techniques, I’ve finally gotten to utilize my Eurorack synth that I’ve been on and off building for a year or so. I’ve sorta designed it to where it’s basically made to be an ambient-lofi drone machine, and it does wonders when it comes to making atmospheres.
What can listeners expect from this EP?
I’d definitely consider this to be like a mini concept album if anything, but still very familiar to my Tramontane EP. I really wanted to hone in on the emotions of lust and loss and sorta play around with them. You can sorta view the timeline of these two imaginary characters and see how things evolve over the course of the four tracks. I periodically listen to the entirety of the EP end to end and I still get chills from it.
What does this EP mean to you?
While making the EP, I didn’t really think it had some sort of emotional connection to my actual self. I more or less just thought I was just writing a story just for the sake of writing a story. But after these past few months have gone by, I’ve come to realize that this body of work was actually me subconsciously telling myself how I felt over the past year. It kind of is surreal to think how when writing things you can be writing something that has no meaning or anything behind it, but in actuality it does and you don’t know it yet.
What are your hopes for drum ‘n’ bass in the United States?
I’m optimistic about it, but I’m realistically in the middle. I’m noticing there’s now tons of hype coming from a good majority of the big EDM guys talking about how drum ‘n’ bass is so sick and are asking for tunes from people, but it’s one of those things where I sorta need to see it to believe it. Now I’m not talking about the talent here in the U.S. The talent I’m seeing from the States is actually rather insane to be honest. A great example of this is a guy named Winslow. His tunes are absolute stompers and he makes really quality YouTube videos that I tend to watch periodically and enjoy greatly. Anyway, back to the original point: it’s the promoters that are based here that I’m iffy about. For example, if you don’t originate from the UK, you aren’t getting booked. It’s as simple as that. Flite I know for a fact is working his butt off to make sure to change that, and it’s working. It’s just that these promoters aren’t willing to pick up these homebrew artists at all, or they are at times but they are getting paid in pennies. It’s a slow process yes, but that’s what it is going to have to be; a waiting game.
What’s in store for the remainder of 2019?
I do have some collaborations with some artists that I’ve always wanted to work with, but I won’t name drop them because I do want to keep things secret. I do have plans to also make a non drum ‘n’ bass EP for once since the good majority of music I actually listen to isn’t really drum and bass. Finally, I also have another EP lined up, but this time it’s for my side project, Tetracase. Nothing is completely set in stone for that one, but it’s probably going to receive the majority of my attention for the remainder of the year.