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Interview: Electro-funk Band ‘Fox In The Box’

‘Fox in the Box’ are an experimental electro-funk duo based in Wrocław. Having already performed at the recent WrOFFlaw festival, they also played Radio Ram’s concert hall last week.

The duo is composed of Gabi Cybuch (23) and Adam Komorowski (26), both of whom are capable multi-instrumentalists. 

The band’s premiere album, ‘Journey,’ incorporates elements of funk, early 90’s house electro, and Latin-American inspired samba-esque rhythms. It’s a sound that truly compels your legs to move along with the beat thanks to a series of entrancing and groovy rhythms.

This is all propelled by the infectious energy of Gabi Cybuch’s hypnotic dancing on stage. Offering a healthy dose of syncopation, selective application of discordance, not to mention chromatically adventurous melodies, their new LP ‘Discovery’ draws inspiration from several genres of music.

Keen listeners of Fox In The Box will detect examples of drone, plus a blend of classical and beat-box. The latter is inspired by percussive nouveau styles of flute playing.

After their show at WrOFFlaw last week, Uncut hooked up with the band to find out about some of the inspirations and philosophy behind Fox In The Box’s latest album.

Adam, thank you for taking the time to speak to us. What is your background as a musician?

Adam: I’m self-taught, actually. I did graduate elementary and middle music school, where I played double bass. I didn’t continue after this though, and mostly learned music theory myself. Gabi is nonetheless really helpful here; she did go through music school and is also studying music therapy.

Could you tell us a little bit about some of the philosophical ideas behind your music?

Adam: Well, Electricity is about weird theories movement – like flat earth and this kind of stuff. There is a kind of movement here for that in Poland, and possibly around the world— although I hope not! It’s kind of a movement of weird things, energy from space and this kind of new age stuff. This can be interesting; very often people have fascinating points of view. But, on occasion it can be just, well … mind-blowing.

Every song we write is about something, although it may not always be such a deep theme. The song Fruity Androids is in two parts – the first section is kinda light with Gabby on vocals. The second part is a bit more funky and slow and with a deep vocoded voice.

The first part also touches on the whole thing with smartphones and how people use them all of the time. Meanwhile the second half  is about the TV and media in general, how they make things up in order to make you in a certain way – the lyrics very much reflect this. 

Out of curiosity, do you employ any reharmonization of musical quotations at all? Or am I just mad? There were a small number of times the lyrics seemed to ring a bell.

Adam: Well, some of our music is based on quotes and that’s the fun thing. Every-time I talk to someone about it, I hear different things. There is a proverb in Polish, which basically says, “Bells ring in a church, but you don’t know where the church is.” That’s fun because most of the time, what people think they’ve heard, we actually didn’t sing –  much to their surprise, we did in fact use a different direct quote from another source.

So Gabi, Adam tell me that you studied music therapy, can you tell us a little bit about that? 

Gabi: I studied at the Music Academy in Wroclaw, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Music Therapy one month ago. In October, I will start my master’s degree.

I decided to study music therapy because I wanted to combine music with helping people. I think it is a great job – I do get a lot of satisfaction from it. 

Do you employ any theories or methods from what you learned studying music therapy?

Gabi: In our music I do not use elements of music therapy, but I do focus on connecting the body and emotions. In my dancing on stage, I like to expose my emotions to people and push them to move their bodies.

You play flute very uniquely, it kind of has a hip-hop element to it, can you tell me a bit about what influenced your style?

Gabi: I practice beat-boxing techniques on the flute. This was hard to me because I learned to play flute classically, but I don’t like that style. I prefer to play jazz techniques, beat-box, and blues scales.

Thank you very much to the both of you for your time, and I wish you all the best with the new album!

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