Bells and Robes
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Bells and Robes

Atlanta, GA | Established. Jan 01, 2012 | SELF

Atlanta, GA | SELF
Established on Jan, 2012
Band Electronic Psychedelic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Under the Radar: Bells and Robes"

It’s been a while since I’ve had the pleasure of chatting with musicians who are as thoroughly invested in charting new territory and exploring the sensual qualities of music as the boys from Bells and Robes. After connecting as neighbors in college, Luke Sipka and Dean Spaniol—with years of musical background between them—made a promise to themselves and each other “under the penalty of death” to create soul-stirring music together.

We met in college at the University of Florida. We both wanted a record player and we were neighbors, so we split one and started a record collection. On the summer solstice of 2012, we signed a contract under penalty of death that we would finish an EP by the winter solstice of that year. Kind of an outrageous story, but that’s how it all went down.

Bells and Robes—a name adapted from a Zen Koan (below)—then started on their journey to produce music and explore its innate connection to the senses besides just hearing. The title of its first two EPs, “One Should See Sound,” comes from the same passage and encapsulates the essence of the duo’s music—sound that is not only heard, but seen and felt.

Ummon asked: “The world is such a wide world, why do you answer a bell and don ceremonial robes?”

Mumon’s comment: When one studies Zen one need not follow sound or color or form. Even though some have attained insight when hearing a voice or seeing a color or a form, this is a very common way. It is not true Zen. The real Zen student controls sound, color, form, and actualizes the truth in his everyday life.

Sound comes to the ear, the ear goes to sound. When you blot out sound and sense, what do you understand? While listening with ears one never can understand. To understand intimately one should see sound.

When you understand, you belong to the family;
When you do not understand, you are a stranger.
Those who do not understand belong to the family,
And when they understand they are strangers.

To its credit, the Bells and Robes sound is as unique and mercurial as they come. Whether on stage or in the studio, spontaneity and “happy accidents” are cornerstones of the Bells and Robes experience, resulting in tracks that have similar qualities but are never the same. (Bob Ross would probably dig the B&R style.) From lush ambient soundscapes to far out hip-hop beats to deep ethereal grooves, the Bells and Robes sound satisfies the soul and whets the appetite of even the most eclectic listeners.

Typically for song-writing we’ll start with a drum loop, chord progression, or some sort of sample. We write with software called Ableton Live. Typically we try to write as quickly as possible without any hesitation. We like to get the song laid out and then go back in and edit after there’s a general skeleton for the track in place. There’s a lot of spontaneity involved and we utilize a lot of “happy accidents” throughout the process. We love the quote “Write drunk, edit sober,” by Hemingway.

Like an increasing number of electronic acts, Bells and Robes makes the most of their live shows with a stage set up featuring a variety of tools—two keyboards, electric drums, a sampling pad and a trusty Ableton-running laptop—in lieu of a simple set of decks. Leaving much more room for improvisation and on-the-spot creativity, Bells and Robes (and others like them) are helping to push electronic music to new heights while raising the expectative bar on the part of both musicians and fans alike.

Our set up consists of me [Luke] on two Keyboards. One is a Moog Sub Phatty that I use for a lot of bass tones and leads. The other keyboard is used to control virtual instruments through a computer. Dean uses an electronic drum set to play live drums and grooves. He also has an electronic sampling pad that he uses to trigger samples, loops, and other FX. We use a computer running Ableton Live to control and trigger backing tracks that go along with what we’re playing. We try to incorporate as much improvisation as possible.

Between a positive, forward-thinking attitude and a keen ear for sound, Bells and Robes is just beginning to hit its stride. Check and the duo’s first two EPs, “One Should See Sound pts. 1 & 2” (both steaming in the header), and be on the lookout for a few new remixes for the likes of Dynohunter, The Heavy Pets and Will Brennen coming out soon.

Stay in touch with Bells and Robes by visiting its Facebook, Twitter and SoundCloud pages and official website. But most of all spread the music and spread the word! - Souls In Action

"Get swept away by Bells & Robes's gorgeous new track "Neurofeedback""

Bells & Robes is a duo from Gainesville, Florida, consisting of Luke Sipka and Dean Spaniol. Their brand of fluid, dreamy electronic music has gained them considerable acclaim in their region, as they’ve opened for many big name acts like Odesza, Emancipator, and Beats Antique. This week they’ve released One Should See Sound Pt. II, the latest in a series of impressive collections of organic beat music.
The album’s lead single, “Neurofeedback,” is a perfect introduction to the duo’s sound. Opening with some nimble acoustic guitar and beautiful washes, the song breaks out into a swagger reminiscent of Washed Out. One could hardly imagine a more perfect track for the new spring. One Should See Sound Pt. II is streaming now over on their soundcloud. - Earmilk


From March 6 to 8, AURA Music & Arts Festival will invade the Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park with sincere souls and smooth sounds. The sixith annual primitive camping festival presents three days of diverse, feel-good music across five stages, with a stacked late-night silent disco to keep the groove going strong.

The line-up features tons of fresh talent, but attendees will not want to miss up-and-coming act Bells & Robes. Hailing from Gainesville, Fla., Bells & Robes is an electronic dreamwave duo comprised of Luke Sipka and Dean Spaniol. Since their formation in summer 2012, Bells & Robes has evolved to create a transcendental auditory experience that feels somewhat like a dream. Their ability to combine soft, funky sounds with a danceable rythtmic wave will keep the crowd stayin' alive all night long.

No strangers to Suwannee, the duo performed in Live Oak, Fla., at Purple Hatter's Ball in 2014 and plans to return to the forest to add spice to the silent disco. Bells & Robes has previously performed alongside acts such as Beats Antique, Emancipator, Odezsa, Papadosio, Reptar, Break Science, Stokeswood, The Heavy Pets, Antihero, Dynohunter and Sounduo, and at multiple festivals in the southeast.

Their recent EP, "One Should See Sound", was released exclusively on Grooveshark in September, and was widely successful in the local jamtronica scene. The album embodies their belief that music should meld the senses to create a unified, heightened festival experience. In spring 2015, Bells & Robes will be joining Dynohunter on the road for the The Nomad Tour, which is set to hit states such as Colorado, Califronia and Florida.
We sat down with Bells & Robes to discuss their plans for this year's performance at AURA Music & Arts Festival.

What do you predict the vibe of the silent disco will be?

We've heard that AURA's silent disco is always big and full of energy. We're expecting to have quite a few people with us even though we play late. Not too much sleep seems to happen out at the park, so we're anticipating a good amount of energy.

What will Bells & Robes bring to the table that differs from other acts?

We're hoping to bring a live element to our set that a lot of DJ's don't have. We try to incorporate as much live keyboard and drums as we can while maintaing the high-tempo element of a DJ set.

How will Bells & Robes mesh with other artists at the silent disco? What do you think about the fact that musicians in bands such as The Heavy Pets will be stepping away from their regular acts to DJ?

We think we'll fit right in. Our music is heavily electronic but features a lot of jam elements.

It seems to be a trend recently that more and more members of bands are starting to DJ and produce on the side. Its exciting to see this trend increase, and it also seems like a lot of acts that were once more oriented around DJ'ing are starting to integrate more live instrumentation into their set. Break Science is a great example. They'll be debuting their full live band this year at AURA, which should be quite a show. We're both big fans of their sound and are really curious to see what they will sound like with a bigger band.

Why are you excited to play at Suwannee? What is special about it?

We love the energy of the park. Theres such a family atmosphere and incredible vibes, nowhere else really compares. Playing late night in the woods is also a unique feeling. It has an organic feel to it that playing in a club or venue can't compete with. It also seems like so many people at Suwannee are there for the music and love as opposed to going just to party. Its a special place and we couldn't be more honored to have the opportunity to play there.

If you could collaborate with one Suwannee artist, who would it be and what would you play?

We're in the process of doing a Heavy Pets remix, and we recently did a track for Jimkata's "Feel In Light" Remix EP. We love getting stems and working with artists, this lineup is full of bands we would love to collaborate with.

Is this your first time playing at Suwannee? What kind of doors do you think it will open up for the band?

We were fortunate enough to play at Purple Hatter's Ball last year. Suwannee provides a great opportunity to meet artists from around the country we would never have access to, and it is also a great opportunity to get more ears to hear our music that may have never been exposed to it. Its always incredible to connect with people through our own music, and playing a stage as large as AURA will be a wonderful chance to do so.

What is in the works for Bells & Robes lately? What are your goals?

We'll be touring in late March and early April through the Southeast with our good friends Dynohunter and meeting up along the way with the homies Sir Charles and Ardency. We couldn't be more stoked. We both love to travel and to play music, and touring seems to be the best of both worlds.

We'll also be releasing a follow-up to our debut EP during the tour on April 4th at our show in Gainesville. We're loving the way this record has come out so far and it really expresses what we've been going for musically. Releasing an album is such a process, and we've loved every minute of it. Keep your eyes out for that in early April.

In what ways do you plan on tailoring your set in order to fit the vibes of your late-night time slot?
Well it is a disco, so we might be throwing in some remixes of some old and classic disco tracks. We're hoping to give the crowd a set that will match the spacey-3am-middle-of-the-woods vibe while also preventing their feet from remaining stationary. Its going to be a dance party that makes you float in the air...or something like that. Who knows. Come see for yourself ;) - Joon Bug


Still working on that hot first release.



Bells and Robes will lead you on a refreshing electronic
journey through time and space, combining elements
of live improvisation with synth-heavy sounds of the
future. Fusing ambient chillwave and high-tempo bass
music, Bells and Robes aims to create dynamic energy
while simultaneously lulling listeners into fantasy-like
dream state. Performing over self-produced electro-soundscapes, Luke Sipka plays live keyboard while

Dean Spaniol plays drums and percussion sampling, adding
licks of live instrumentation into energetic electronic
sets. The duo combines the high energy and crisp
electronic sound of a dance DJ with the unpredictable
improvisation of a jam band set. After forming on the
Winter Solstice in 2012, the duo hope to continue their
pursuit of music by showcasing their eclectic sound
throughout the nation. Bells and
Robes has shared the stage with Griz, G Jones, Chromeo, Lotus, Beats Antique,
ODESZA, Emancipator, Mr. Carmack, Soulection,
Autograf, Papadosio, Break Science, Kodak To Graph, The
Heavy Pets, Greenhouse Lounge, Dynohunter and many
more! As seen on: Hulaween Festival, Imagine Festival, Earthdance Florida, Winter Music Conference Showcase, Purple Hatter’s Ball,
Disc Jam Music Festival, and Aura
Music & Arts Festival. 

Band Members