Barry Lynn aka Boxcutter is as ebullient about music as it’s possible to be. He’s a hard-working musician, with a love of dubstep and cosmic jazz in equal measure. Over the past decade his releases have focused on retro house, jazz, dubstep and grime. The Host is his latest project, with a new direction and a very psychedelic edge, thanks to Lynn’s use of vintage synthesizers. Rachel Preece caught up with Lynn to chat about The Host.
You seem to have a real passion for innovation – last year The Dissolve channeled a lot of funk and jazz, and now you’ve reinvented yourself as The Host. Can you talk us through the sounds on this album?
I feel like I was trying to channel a lot of music from different eras into some sort of coherent and personalized picture. There’s some footwork-inspired beats, totally beatless tracks (which hopefully sound as necessary as the other stuff), lo-fi jazz funk, delayed guitar, cassette tape edits…
Why the new name?
Without giving it all away, it ties in with some of the ideas and feelings I’m trying to convey in the music. It sets the theme.
Who are you enjoying listening to right now?
Right now it’s Terry Riley and Jaco Pastorius.
You’re also an accomplished bassist and guitarist; can you tell us about your musical background? How did you get into electronic music?
I’ve just always been into hunting out oddball sounds of any stripe; especially if psychedelic drugs have been involved in their creation (would recommend this to any young person seeking to educate themselves in good sounds).
I actually started off sounding not dissimilar to The Host LP, but made without any equipment apart from my guitar and a Spiritualized-inspired Farfisa organ (purchased for £50 in 1998, and previously owned by David Holmes, although I’ve never verified this), and sequenced on a computer that ground to an inspiration-destroying halt with sickening ease. Track bounces used to take one hour plus, and real-time playback was an indulgent dream, so progress was slow. Kids today don’t know they’re born.
You’re performing a few gigs in the UK in the coming months; will you pop over to the continent too?
I suppose I could, maybe get the Eurostar, and walk around for a bit, try out my French (which is appalling at this point). But without someone to book me it’ll remain a mostly private affair and beyond the scope of this interview.
Just kidding, I actually do have a show in Brussels on May 19th I’m looking forward to.
Your set was a huge hit at Bloc last year – will you be playing any festivals this year?
The short answer is – it’s not up to me…
Glad you liked the Bloc set, the crowd makes all the difference – nice one for being there.
What’s next for Boxcutter / The Host?
More passive aggressive egotism, failing to be witty or interesting in interviews, writing music of diminishing quality for an ever-shrinking audience, pretension, jealousy and feelings of inadequacy. I wouldn’t rule out some of the vintage crap I use to make sounds from breaking on me either.
The Host is being released on Planet Mu on March 20th
Published March 19, 2012.