Jeff Boyle, guitarist of Jakob

Jakob’s Top Five Instrumental Musical Outfits

Words: Tom Goldson
Photography: Alistair Guthrie

Jeff Boyle, guitarist of this year’s Taite Music Prize winner Jakob about the band’s top five instrumental musical outfits

“This is my worst nightmare, by the way – there’s a reason why we’re an instrumental band…” These were the first words uttered by Jeff Boyle, the gunslinger who powers Napier trio Jakob’s vocal-free wall-of-sound, when the band took the stage at Auckland venue Galatos in April to collect the Taite Music Prize, New Zealand’s most acclaimed music award.

It was an appropriately laconic response from a band that chooses to let their instrumental assault of guitar, bass and drums do the heavy lifting, with no need for lyrics to muddy the mix – and it was met by huge cheers from the assembled crowd of critics and music industry movers and shakers, who have watched Jakob’s slow but steady rise over four sonically expansive and commercially uncompromising instrumental albums.

Fresh off the back of their career-defining win, Boyle breaks down his top five instrumental outfits of all time.

1. Stars of the Lid

“They’re an amazing band, a couple of guys from Austin, Texas who make brilliant, otherworldly ambient music. Ever since I got introduced to them a few years ago, they’ve inspired me massively. They use guitars and strings to make these big ambient soundscapes, but it sounds like nothing that was created on this planet. They’re one of my favourite bands, hands down.”

“A Meaningful Moment Through a Meaningless Process” by Stars of the Lid 

© YouTube // Chrispax’s Channel 

2. A Winged Victory for the Sullen

“One of the guys from Stars of the Lid, Adam Wiltzie, is part of this ambient duo. Their self-titled debut is amazing – it’s along the same lines as Stars of the Lid but it’s much more orchestral. It’s achingly beautiful music that hits you like there’s no tomorrow, and I think that’s something that Jakob tries to do too.”

“Steep Hills of Vicodin Tears” by A Winged Victory for the Sullen

© YouTube // Dustin O’Halloran

3. Autechre

“Autechre is an English electronic outfit that has been around for years. There is something extremely unique about what they do, which is something I’m always looking for in an artist. Autechre’s music has inspired [Radiohead’s] Thom Yorke, who’s my favourite musician – that’s how I found out about them. They’ve had a big impact on all three of us.”

“Altibzz” by Absolute Bollocks

© YouTube // Absolute Bollocks

4. Aphex Twin

“Aphex Twin and Autechre are like the twin towers of English electronica. It’s Aphex Twin’s eclecticism that puts him on our top five list. Whichever direction he chooses to take his music in, it blows me away every time. He makes some of the most amazing music I’ve ever heard, to be honest with you.”

 

“Avril 14th” by Aphex Twin

© YouTube // Foky

5. Mogwai

“Mogwai is a Scottish post-rock band that had a big influence on us at the start of our career. They’re the instrumental band that held the torch for everyone else. They’ve done some really great soundtracks and impacted the mainstream as well, and they’ve always been the flag bearers for what we do.”

“Hungry Face” by Mogwai

© YouTube // Innsmouth815

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