Slip Silo
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Slip Silo


Band Rock Jazz


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"Show Preview: Koplant No and Slip Silo – April 14 at the Blue Moose"

This Saturday at the Blue Moose Taphouse, two bands who are joined at the head (i.e. overlapping personnel) will be having a CD release party, for the new Slip Silo CD. If you aren’t familiar with these guys, they’re mostly graduates of the University of Iowa Jazz program. Like other alumni (I’m looking at you, Euforquestra), they don’t just smoke cigarettes and pitch pennies in the Jazz program — you don’t go there unless you can play, and are willing to spend half of every day playing.

So The Koplant No/Slip Silo guys are serious musicians, with deep knowledge and experience in Jazz. But they grew up listening to electronic music like Aphex Twin and Boards of Canada as well, and stew their jazz ideas in electronics. Which is kinda great. Going back to the 70s there have been musicians — starting most prominently with Miles Davis and his followers — who wanted to bring ideas from other genres into Jazz. There was a brief period in the 70s when bands like Weather Report, Chick Corea, and Mahavishnu Orchestra, were fully invested in the idea of fusing Rock and Jazz. That movement exhausted itself in a haze of un-recouped major label advances and cocaine, and the Jazz world re-embraced it’s traditional roots, but for a moment, anything seemed possible.

But Koplant No & Slip Silo grew up untainted by the older jazz musician’s distaste for drum machines and sampling — “It’s just pushing buttons!” — and they’re able to see them as just another tool in their toolbox, a new way to flavor their music.

I’m going to save my Bon-est Mots for an upcoming CD review in next month’s Little Village, but suffice it to say, these guys are worth paying attention to. You can do some chin stroking, but I don’t doubt if you’re willing you could do some dancing. At any rate, 2 thumbs up for 2 bands worth your attention.

BLUE MOOSE April 14 — Door at 8/Show at 8 $5 19+ - Little Village Live Magazine (article by Kent Williams)

"Album Reviews: Slip Silo – Monsoons / Koplant No – Transit EP"

Slip Silo and Koplant No are two local groups which share two members (Brian Lewis on trumpet, keyboards and laptop, Drew Morton on bass, synth and vocals) with adjacent releases. This invites a classic English Final “Contrast and Compare” review.

Firstly, Slip Silo (also starring Matt Logan on vocals and guitar and Justin Leduc on percussion) is the more conventionally poppy side of the coin … without really being conventional at all. These guys studied in The University of Iowa’s Jazz program, so they have the chops and music theory to write and perform sophisticated music. Thankfully, they don’t mistake widdly trickiness for sophistication. Their songs are songs, not scaffolding for exhibitionist soloing.

Lewis’s keyboards owe more to left-field electronica than any jazz precursor, and his trumpet playing is fluidly integral to the arrangements. Rock music rarely features trumpet as a lead instrument and yet it really works here.

I get the impression that they had some Radiohead CDs mixed in with their Mingus and Coltrane, but Slip Silo stay out of Radiohead’s shadow. They emulate the UK’s grandest mopes only in that they fearlessly experiment, but integrate their experimentation into accessible song forms. Leduc’s drumming elevates every song with propulsive, restless virtuosity. He finds the freedom to jab and weave within the song structure, sometimes (as on “I Need To Know”) approaching the barely-controlled chaos of Keith Moon.

Slip Silo’s music is hard to describe by comparison to contemporary groups, which is good. The thing I’m reminded of most is the brief time in the 1970s when bands like Genesis, Brian Eno, Soft Machine and Traffic pushed rock music into new, weird directions. Slip Silo gets plenty weird, but they do so without leaving the listener behind.

Koplant No - Transit EP /
On Transit EP Koplant No incorporates Rob Baner on drums, vibraphone and sampled percussion, and Joel Vanderhayden on Saxophone. If Slip Silo derive indirect inspiration from Radiohead, Koplant No derives theirs from Boards of Canada. For all the weird swirly noises they incorporate into these pieces, they’re more conventionally jazzy, but it’s a contemplative, through-composed music, closer to Carla Bley than the jazz of a dour traditionalist like Wynton Marsalis.

Maybe someone’s already doing this and I just haven’t heard it yet, but I’m impressed with how organically perfect the fractally dubbed-out abstract electronic textures fit with the trumpet and saxophone as lead instruments. It seems seductive, inevitable and necessary when Koplant No does it.

Monsoons and Transit EP are similar in the way they realize a common attitude of adventurous lyricism. None of these songs are three-chord bangers or one bar drum loops. I’ve been left cold by a lot of music I’ve heard coming out of university Jazz programs—always technically accomplished but lacking in soul and fire. These guys seem to have internalized the craft taught at the University without letting it become a straightjacket. —Kent Williams - Little Village Live Magazine (article by Kent Williams)

"'Sibling' quartets welcome newborn CDs Saturday"

Local quartets Slip Silo and Koplant No share Drew Morton (bass, MicroKorg) and Brian Lewis Smith (trumpet, keys, laptop), so a combined show introducing new CDs by these six stellar musicians was a no-brainer.

Koplant No (adding saxophonist John Vanderheyden and percussionist Rob Baner) introduce "Transit," a four-cut, 15-plus minute EP that offers a bracing hybrid of atmospheric electronica, brooding leftfield jazz and "found" sounds that attract and intrigue; it's a beautiful "little" record.

Slip Silo, which is rounded out by vocalist/guitarist Matt Logan and percussionist Justin LeDuc, presents "Monsoons" (its first full-length), the more adventurous of the two by virtue of its length (11 cuts/58-plus minutes), tunefulness and unbridled genre-hopping.

The hypnotic instrumental "Metaphor" suggests Roxy Music's "Avalon" in West Africa, "Face to Face" is a dreamy reverie, "Mother" evokes Sting's jazzy world-pop, "Stars in This Room" floats sweetly, while the muscular art-rocker "I Need To Know" would fit neatly on a Stew & the Negro Problem platter.

Prog-rock, trance, jazz-fusion and even New Age collide throughout this mostly-engaging disc (the twee "Summer" needs to hit the weight-room, despite its cool rhythm guitar); connect at

The two bands will be joined by Reldnips and Mr. Ting for a CD-release party Saturday at the Blue Moose (8 p.m., $5).
- Iowa City Press Citizen (article by Jim Musser)


Monsoons - April, 2012
Slip Silo - March 2010



Formed in the summer of 2008, Slip Silo is comprised of talented, thoughtful musicians who studied jazz at the University of Iowa and who have appeared in groups such as Koplant No, OSG, Big Funk Guarantee, The Critical Hour, New Beat Society, and many more. The band combines a variety of influences to create a sound that resembles a mashup of Radiohead, Red Hot Chili Peppers, and Miles Davis. "...these guys are worth paying attention to. You can do some chin stroking, but I don’t doubt if you’re willing you could do some dancing. At any rate, 2 thumbs up ..." -Kent Williams of Little Village Live on Slip Silo. "Prog-rock, trance, jazz-fusion and even New Age collide throughout," says Jim Musser of the Iowa City Press Citizen about the group's new album Monsoons, referring to Slip Silo as a group of, "stellar musicians." Slip Silo released a self-titled EP in the Spring of 2010, and recently released its first full-length album, Monsoons, in April of 2012.