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|Genres||Futurepop, Progressive Trance|
mind.in.a.box is an Austrian electronic music band which was founded in 2002 by childhood friends Stefan Poiss and Markus Hadwiger. Poiss is responsible for the sound, vocals and production of their music while Poiss and Hadwiger collaborate on developing the story and writing the lyrics. Their "technopop" sound can be described as a cross between futurepop and progressive trance.
mind.in.a.box released their 5th studio LP, entitled "Revelations", on January 20, 2012. An EP containing club mixes of select songs from the album was released on March 9, 2012. To facilitate these releases, mind.in.a.box created their own label Dreamweb Music.
In March 2011, Stefan Poiss released the debut single from his side project THYX. The album The Way Home was released in May 2012, on Metropolis Records and Dreamweb Music. The second THYX album Below The City was released on May 14, 2013.
Stefan Poiss and Markus Hadwiger were childhood friends in their native Austria. Over the course of their adult lives, they collaborated on creating a number of computer games. In 2000, Poiss decided to create a music album. With Poiss writing the music and performing the vocals and Hadwiger providing the lyrics, mind.in.a.box's debut album Lost Alone was completed in 2001. After approaching Dependent, the album spent another year being tweaked and marketed before it was finally released in 2002. Lost Alone was an immediate success and soared to the number one spot in the Deutsche Alternative Charts where it would stay for five consecutive weeks.
Starting in 2007, Poiss worked on plans to perform mind.in.a.box music live on stage and assembled a live line up consisting of Stefan Poiss (vocals), Roman Stift (bass), Gehard Höffler (drums) and Adam Wehsely-Swiczinsky (guitar). The live setup interprets the music in a more traditional rock setup and is paired with visuals to convey the story about Mr. Black. mind.in.a.box first appeared live in 2009 at the "Arvika Festivalen" in Sweden, followed by concerts in Montreal and Oslo at the "Elektrostat Festival".
For their albums, the songs feature monologues, snippets of audio logs and conversations that combine to tell a story that spans the albums. Together, they form a mysterious epic that draws on science fiction, fantasy and noir fiction.
Chapter 1: Lost Alone
Waiting: This is a series of phone calls, in which Mr. Black talks to a man that he has attached a trace to. Black is spying on Him. The man is concerned about a woman and is trying to get into contact with Her. Just before he is able to get a hold of the woman, Black calls his contact and agrees to take some sort of action against Him that will leave Him unable to escape and not interrupt the trace.
Forever Gone: Another series of phone calls between Black and someone. Black has lost Him. The trace on the man has been broken and Black has no idea where he has gone. The Speaker tracks Him through a scrap of paper with an address to a bar. When Black arrives at the bar, he finds Him. The man's body is lifeless and has all of his (unspecified) "gear" with it, although all the data on his gear has been erased. The Speaker comes to the conclusion that the man must have "switched over" to "the other side".
Chapter 2: Dreamweb
Tape Evidence: Black says that he's been constantly dreaming and that even reality appeared dream-like. He was briefly snapped out of his dreaming by a door bell. When he went to answer the door, he found an audio tape.
Dead End: Black is talking with White over a radio. White's side of the conversation cannot be heard. He is surveilling a club, trying to find Her. He loses his patience and goes inside. He finds the woman and is instantly assaulted by his dreams. He runs through hallways and down stairs trying to get away from the music. The music rises in intensity and the woman is still in front of him. He continues fleeing to escape the music and when he bursts through a door, he finds himself back in the club before he passes out.
Reflections: An audio log sums up the search for Her. After Black wakes up in the gutter, he does not understand what happened to him and cannot contact White over his radio. He finds White who has gotten a tape from a man at the club. He goes home and still hears the music before falling asleep.
Chapter 3: Crossroads
Introspection: Black awakens in a tank of water, with Night and The Friend watching him from outside. They break the glass and free him. He wakes up in an apartment with the knowledge that some people known as the Sleepwalkers helped him and that the events in the past two chapters were misleading; that White is not his friend and was actually trying to erase his identity.
Amnesia: Reeling from the realization that his partnership with White was a lie, Black realizes that he doesn't know who he is and is suffering from amnesia.
Into the Night: Snippets of Black's side of conversations detail his investigations into what really happened in the club in Chapter 2. He discovers that his name is Black and finds a clue pointing him to the Sleepwalkers.
Chapter 4: Revelations
Transition: Black tries to return to the club where he first heard the music, only to find everything gone. He then hears the music in his own head.
Fragments: Bursts of memory return to Black: Night, the Friend, the Agency, Sleepwalkers, the Dreamweb.
Sanctuary: Black reflects on his path, focused on the song that lead him to this point.
Chapter 5: Memories
Travel Guide: A recap of all the events to the current point, as read from the diary of Black.
Shakeup: Black's memories come back and he makes peace with what he has done in the past.
Black: Black is the point of view that the story is told from. It's unknown what his motives are and until Crossroads even his name was a mystery. He is working for White, doing mostly surveillance. He seems to be some sort of a government or corporate agent, with little qualms about killing.
White: White is Black's direct supervisor. White is the only member of the story who has been named. While he had been assuming a sort of controller role in Lost Alone, he makes a physical appearance in Reflections, making it clear that White is comfortable with field work.
Him: The unnamed man, who is the target of investigation in Lost Alone, is only referred to by male pronouns. It is implied that he is some sort of a hacker, possibly even a decker or cyber-cowboy. At the end of Lost Alone his body is dead, although it is strongly believed that his mind still lives and he has transferred his consciousness into the Internet. In Travel Guide, he is revealed to be The Friend.
Her: The unnamed woman, who is the target of investigation in Dreamweb, is only referred to by female pronouns. She seems to have had some sort of relationship with Him. It is revealed that she "knows how to get there", suggesting that she knows what happened to Him and how to replicate it. At the end of Dreamweb, she has escaped surveillance and has triggered something in The Speaker's mind. In Travel Guide, she is revealed to be Night.
In 2010, mind.in.a.box released R.E.T.R.O., an album separate from the story lines of Lost Alone, Dreamweb and Crossroads. R.E.T.R.O. pays homage to the days of computer gaming on 8-bit computers, with some remixes of game soundtracks as well as songs themed around 8-bit computing. All the tracks feature synth sounds styled after the sound capabilities of the Commodore 64 home computer and other machines of its day.
Following positive reception of the album, the song "8 Bits" was released on a limited edition EP.
- Lost Alone – Dependent Records (2004) / Metropolis Records (2004)
- Dreamweb – Dependent Records (2005) / Metropolis Records (2005)
- Crossroads – Dependent Records (2007) / Metropolis Records (2007)
- R.E.T.R.O. – Dependent Records (2010) / Metropolis Records (2010)
- Arvika Live – not on label (2010)
- Revelations – Dreamweb Music (2012) / Metropolis Records (2012)
- Memories – Dreamweb Music (2015) / Metropolis Records (2015)
- Broken Legacies – Dreamweb Music (2017) / Metropolis Records (2017)
- Certainty – Dependent Records (2005)
- What Used To Be – Dependent Records (2007)
- 8 Bits – Dependent Records (2010)
- Revelations Club.Mixes – Dreamweb Music (2012) / Metropolis Records (2012)
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