Anything Box

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Anything Box
Origin Paterson, New Jersey
Orange County, California
Genres Alternative dance, synthpop, new wave, indie pop, dance-pop
Years active 1986–present
Labels Endpop
Presswerk.13
Jarrett Records
Orangewerks
Epic Records
Website Anything Box official website
Endpop label
Anything Box Myspace
Members Claude Strilio
Dania Morales
Paul Rijnders
Past members Gary Strilio
Dave South / Mike Zacek

Anything Box is an electronic/synthpop musical group originally from Paterson, New Jersey and now based in Orange County, CA. Formed in 1986, they are best known for their 1989 single "Living in Oblivion". The band is one of the primary bands which carried electronic music's transition from the late 1980s into the 1990s and beyond. With a current lineup consisting of Claude Strilio, Dania Morales and Paul Rijnders,[1] the past members have included Carlos Pacheco, Gary Strilio and Dave South. The band is noted for its melodic, synth-driven dance beats from its early years as well as its fusion of electronics and guitars which is its current musical focus. The band's songs, lyrics, as well as Claude's vocals have been widely regarded in the electronic music community as some of the finest. The band also receives praise for its album artwork which ranges from oil paintings to electronic paintings which are all works of Claude Strilio. Anything Box, (also known as Abox by its loyal fan-base), has released several albums, EPs and singles and continues to perform their energetic live shows around the world.

The band's name comes from the title of a book of short stories by Zenna Henderson, The Anything Box.[2] In the title story, a young girl imagines the world as she would have it, apparently by staring at an empty space between her hands. Her school teacher discovers that the box is invisible, but real.

Anything Box's most recent release is The Future Past EP (Endpop, June 2007) which features a remake and remixes of their 1990 fan-favorite "Carmen" as well as a Spanish version of the song. This marks the first time Anything Box has released a song in Spanish, which has often been requested by their fans.

History[edit]

Formation/Peace (1986–1990)[edit]

Anything Box was started by Claude S in Paterson, New Jersey playing local clubs as Pipeline and The Loop Lounge. This is where Claude met Dania Morales who joined as a group shortly after. Playing numerous shows and producing demo-tapes, they drew the attention of Epic Records. The band moved to Orange County, California where Paul Rijnders joined the group. They began recording their first album, Peace which was released on Epic in 1990. The band toured in support of the album.

Worth (1992)[edit]

Following the success and praise for Peace in the electronic music scene, Claude and Dania headed to Germany to begin recording their second album, Worth with producer Gareth Jones. Paul Rijnders had left the band to pursue personal goals. The album was completed in 1992, but a dispute with Epic and eventual break-up with the label prevented the album's release to the public. It was later distributed by the band to members of its fan-club as the band continued to perform shows despite the non-release of the album. The album shows the softer side of Anything Box, as many of the album's songs are slower, softer, and emotional.

Hope (1993)[edit]

With Claude's brother Gary joining the band, Anything Box recorded and self-released their third album, Hope on their own label, Orangewerks. The album brings back the dance floor grooves with such songs as "Answer Me", "Where Is Love and Happiness", and "Life Is Fun". The band tours in support of the album.

Dance CD-5 (1994)[edit]

The band releases the EP, Dance CD-5 which features remixes of tracks from the Hope album as well as some unreleased songs.

The Diary: Page One (1995)[edit]

Claude releases a solo-album under the name The Diary on the Orangewerks label. The album, Page One was heavily influenced by the music of Joy Division and New Order. It is generally considered the darkest of Claude's albums.

Mixology.1/Living In Oblivion (1996)[edit]

With a high-demand for Anything Box tracks and the difficulty in obtaining singles mixes from Peace, the band releases a collection of remixes and unreleased songs called Mixology.1 on Orangewerks. They also release a new version and new mixes of their classic, "Living in Oblivion". The EP, Living In Oblivion MCMXCVI A.D. is released on Jarrett Records which had merged with Orangewerks. Anything Box performs at the Synthstock Music Festival in Salt Lake City, Utah where Paul Rijnders reunites with the band for the song "Lady in Waiting" from Peace.

Elektrodelica (1997)[edit]

Dania Morales departs Anything Box and Paul Rijnders returns to the band. The band releases their new album, Elektrodelica on Jarrett Records, including a deluxe version featuring a bonus interview disc. The album marks a musical change for Anything Box as Claude experiments in what he coins as an "Elektrodelic" sound. The album fuses the band's traditional synthesizers with Rijnders' guitar playing. The album is considered the band's most ambitious and daring effort and songs and sounds are considerably more diverse and the album's focus much broader. The album contains soft melodic tunes such as "Conscious" which is influenced by Claude's affection of The Beatles as well as loud, edgy songs such as "45" which is a 45-second, punk rock influenced song. "Conscious" is released as a single and "45" as a video.

Elektrospective (1999)[edit]

With anticipation for a second Mixology album, Jarrett Records instead releases Elektrospective which contains alternate versions of songs from both the Peace and Worth albums. Tension between the band and the label grow as Elektrodelika only receives wide-distribution, two-years following its initial release and Elektrospective artwork is mis-printed. The band leaves Jarrett Records which later closes.

Recovered (2000)[edit]

Claude discovers a collection of older Anything Box recordings from 1993-1995 on a nearly-destroyed DAT. Claude recovers these recordings and remasters them. They are released on album called Recovered 1993-1995. Recovered is released on the band's new, self-owned label, Presswerk.13.

The Universe Is Expanding (2001)[edit]

Following is the footsteps of Elektrodelica, Anything Box continues its musical experimentation. The band releases 100% Air-Friendly Groove Pak, an EP featuring the single "Clean" and a beat-box, hip-hop influenced B-Side called "Radio Static". The band follows with the album The Universe Is Expanding on Presswerk.13. The album continues the band's fusion of synthesizers, guitar, and bass guitar. Dania Morales returns to provides backing vocals on several tracks, but does not perform live with the band. Dave South joins the band on keyboards and bass guitar.

The Effects of Stereo TV (2003)[edit]

Anything Box releases The Effects of Stereo TV on Presswerk.13 as a long-awaited companion/follow-up album to The Universe Is Expanding, a short, in-your-face experience. The album continues the band's synthesizer and guitar sound, but while some songs are soft melodies, others are abbrasive guitar-driven rock songs.

The Diary: Separate (2005)[edit]

While debating the direction for the next Anything Box album, Claude experiments with playing several instruments on his own including guitar, bass, and drums. The result is his most personal work to date. Returning as The Diary, he releases Separate, a lo-fi mixture of synthesizers and live instruments all performed by Claude. Many of the song's lyrics are based on Claude's life experiences including his near-death by drowning when he was younger. The result is an album, truly from the heart as Claude expresses himself is a manner he has never done so before.

Future Past/Fan Tapes and Time Travel (2007)[edit]

With Dania Morales returning to the lineup and Dave South and Gary S departing, Anything Box comes full-circle and returns to the same lineup as its original Peace album from 1990. Having played several "reunion" shows throughout the Americas, the demand for new material grows. Anything Box renames its label Endpop and releases The Future Past EP in June. The EP features a remake and remixes of the band's popular 1990 song, "Carmen". It also includes a version on the song in Spanish. This is the first Anything Box song/release sung in Spanish. The EP also features remixes of other popular Anything Box songs as well as some new material. The band also begins releasing on the internet a series of short films put together by Claude S called "Fan Tapes and Time Travel". These films are constructed from old video footage of the band throughout its history which have been provided by its fans. It continues as a work in progress.

Nineteen (2008)[edit]

With a large collection of old Anything Box recordings in his possession, Claude, after much deliberation, decides to share some of this raw, early material from his past. Taking a cassette tape of these old recordings, Claude remasters and repairs them. The end result is Nineteen, a short digitally released album. The songs date back to 1987-1988, with the exception of the final track which is roughly from 1990. The sound is darker, sadder, and quite a contrast to Peace, which would be the band's first official release in 1990. Being a digital release, the website with a back story and artwork was created in conjunction with the album. The Book of Nineteen, features a collection of Claude's own artwork, as well as offers a streaming version of the album.

Band member projects[edit]

Claude S has released two albums as his solo-project, The Diary.

Paul Rijnders has several music projects including: Goodbye July (synthpop) and The Lamented (garage rock). He is also known as a mashup remixer under the pseudonym Kult Litre, best known for the underground drum & bass remix of The Doors' "L.A. Woman".

Dania Morales had a brief solo stint with Cellophane Flowers.

Dave South currently plays bass guitar for The Valley Arena.

Gary S is also known as The Notorious B.O.X., for his beat-boxing skills.

Claude S and a friend, Steve B, post a semi-monthly internet radio program called The Listen Show where they are often joined by other friends, including Paul Rijnders. The show is basically the participants playing and discussing a wide assortment of songs. It also serves as means of updating fans to the latest Anything Box news.

Discography[edit]

Out of print[edit]

Most of these can now be found on iTunes and CDBaby.com.

  • Elektrodelica
  • Hope V3
  • Mixology 1
  • Dance CD5
  • Hope
  • Worth
  • Descension EP
  • Ascension EP

In print[edit]

  • Peace
  • Page One (The Diary)
  • Worth V2
  • Hope
  • Recovered 1993–1995
  • The Universe Is Expanding
  • 100% Air-Friendly Groove Pak
  • The Effects of Stereo TV
  • Separate (The Diary)
  • Future Past EP
  • Nineteen

Anything Box complete discography[edit]

  • 1988: "Beat of Life"/"I Know What You Want - 12" single, demo single pressed on lacquer for loan to DJs.
  • 1988: "Living in Oblivion"/"Time to Go" - 12" single, demo single pressed on lacquer for loan to DJs. Also contained a slow mix of "Living in Oblivion" on B-side.
  • 1989: Ascension EP - Cassette only release sold at early shows, including songs "Living in Oblivion", "World Without Love", "Kiss of Love", "Ascension" and "Heaven". "Kiss of Love" and "Living in Oblivion" entered college chart in NJ and lead to a management deal in California, prompting the band's move to the west coast.
  • 1989: Descension EP - Unreleased cassette only demo. "The Pain I Inherited" is one of the few surviving songs.
  • 1989: "Living in Oblivion" - CD single, cassette single, and 12" release on Epic/Sony Music.
  • 1990: Peace - Debut album on Epic/Sony, features "Kiss of Love", "I Felt the Pain", "Jubilation", "Carmen", "Living in Oblivion", "Lady In Waiting" and "All These Hours Undone".
  • 1990: "Jubilation" - 2 variations of this CD single were released; one for radio, and one for retail. The retail version had "Do You Hear Me Anymore" as a B-side. A 12" single was pressed in the US, and a 7" single in Mexico by Sony Music.
  • 1991: "Soul On Fire"/"Our Dreams" - Released as a 12" single with a CD single released only to radio.
  • 1992: Worth - known as "Black Cassette" version, produced by Gareth Jones.
  • 1992–1993: Hope - First official release on Orangewerks Produkt Ltd label, limited to 5,000 units. Re-released in 1993 in new packaging.
  • 1994: "Where Is Love & Happiness" - 12" single with remixes by Twitch and Anything Box, limited to 1,000 units.
  • 1994: Dance CD5 - This CD was all the Twitch remixes, plus remixes of "Every Single Day".
  • 1994: The Diary - Page One - Solo album by Claude S.
  • 1994: Mixology 1 - Effectively a 'best of' collecting tracks released only on 12" vinyl of "Living in Oblivion", "Jubilation", "Beat of Life" and unreleased B-sides on one disc.
  • 1996: "Living in Oblivion" - Newly recorded and remixed version of the 1989 release with mixes by underground techno DJs, Seven Red Seven, Information Society, and the band. Released as part of a deal with Jarrett Records.
  • 1996: Hope V3 - Re-issue of 1993 release Hope by Jarrett Records with extra remixes and new artwork.
  • 1997: "Conscious" - First single from Elektrodelica
  • 1997: Elektrodelica - Full length album released on Jarrett Records. There is also a limited edition 2-CD set of this album floating around which contained outtakes and acoustic versions.
  • 1997: 45 - Video is released first, with plans for a CD single with remixes by The Claw. Jarrett Records ceased operations.
  • 2000: Recovered 1993-1995 - CD released material written between Hope and Page One. It was initially known as Deconstructivism, but after the masters were damaged, preventing the release. After remastering and mixing the surviving songs, the name was changed to Recovered. This is the first release on Presswerk13.
  • 2000: Worth V2 - 1992 release Worth is re-issued and remastered, with 2 unreleased tracks.
  • 2000: Sharewear 1 (Orange) - A T-shirt/CDR with a selection of rarities and classics.
  • 2001: 100% Air-Friendly Groove Pak - An EP to promote the release of The Universe Is Expanding.
  • 2001: The Universe Is Expanding - Album
  • 2001: Sharewear 2 (Blue) - Another shirt/CD combo
  • 2002: Binaural Repeats: 1993–2002 - The front 'cover' of this download-only collection states "An elektrodelic body of enhanced works. Produced by Anything Box. Recorded at various studios. This is freeware so share it." Distributed at the time from the band's own web page, and mentioned on slashdot.org in 2003. The album does not appear to be available on their site any longer.
  • 2003: The Effects Of Stereo TV
  • 2005: The Diary - Separate
  • 2007: Future Past EP
  • 2008: Nineteen - Claude remasters an old tape of early Anything Box recordings. The songs pre-date the band's first album, Peace. Released digitally.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Biographic Date". 
  2. ^ Futch, Michael (1993-02-05). "Dance band Anything Box starts anew with 'Hope'". Fayetteville Observer. 

External links[edit]