EP Review: Cederick Knox – Spack in the Box Allstars Vol. 1

Cederick Knox is an experiment jazz artist from Brighton who has taken his cues from some of the best known musical innovators of the 20th century and turned out something that feels at home in the 21st with his new EP Spack In the Box Allstars Vol. 1.

By Graeme Smith

For the EP, Cederick has teamed up with drummer Spack in the Box who has cerebral palsy. Spack in the Box wears his condition as a badge of honour so its no surprise that he’d take the slur and repurposed it in a positive way. It works. The name jumped off the screen at me when I saw it and I needed to know more.

Spack in the Box Allstars Vol. 1 consists of five tracks each with its own distinct world. Tinker’s Horn is a sax and bass heavy plodding jazz number. Willy Hitler Escapes the Airship is a psychedelic trip that best showcases the live drums. I don’t have a mannequin fetish is, as you might expect, a humorous and lively expression that almost mirrors the sound of an orchestra warming up. Autumn Leaf is a dark, atmospheric and hypnotic meditation with chanting vocals and looping keys. Back in the Box/FUNeral March is a avant-garde odyssey with disparate strings and leaden piano that invokes a journey into the afterlife.

Yet, if each track is a different world, they all exist in the same solar system – one where they all orbit elliptically and erratically around Cederick’s sun.

Cederick cites Miles Davis and Brian Eno as influences in terms of their approaches to composing, recording and editing. I got some Blackstar-era David Bowie from this record as well, especially in the tracks that features sax. There were nods to modern avant-garde electronic music in there too, and hints of the traditional too, particularly with the Spanish guitar in Autumn Leaf.

If you’re looking for something a little different and thought-provoking today, look no further than Spack in the Box Allstars Vol. 1. Cederick Knox is certainly a name I’m going to keep my eye out for. There’s not many out there that are testing the boundaries of music as successfully as he and his all-stars are. Check out the EP below. If you want to hear some more music that doesn’t fit the mould, check out our Decomposition playlist on Spotify.