The SILO Effect
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The SILO Effect

Richmond, Virginia, United States | SELF

Richmond, Virginia, United States | SELF
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"The Silo Effect"

The Silo Effect

The Silo Effect is one of those Richmond bands that you're bound to run into at some point. Even if you're not really looking for them, they're influence and presence can't really be ignored. From stickers smacked onto the backs of road signs on monument to the ethereal melodies pumping out of venues across the city. You won't be able to get away from the tug of this progressive group.

And why on earth (or anywhere else) would you want to?

They're psychedelic, but not without structure and contrast to prevent the audience from getting too lost in a sea of melody. I could never call myself a connoisseur of electronic music, but I do appreciate the key elements that Silo Effect uses to keep their music accessible.

Don't think that the idea of being grounded or accessible means "limited." No way. But with Matt Henry's sublime style on the keys, there's a distinct possibility (which some hope for) that you'll lose yourself a little, as the songs loop in and around each other. A 45 minute set can sound like a single song with such seamless transitions, which was my first experience with the group when they played at Emilio's with Aquafuture (formerly Robert von Rhombus). They launched into their set, and there was a dizzying effect of being lifted and carried through a solid hour of music. Their transitions are seamless, and they flow with little hesitation into the next musical jump. But I did feel slightly lost (not in a bad way) as though I had missed a chunk of time somewhere in the night. I thoroughly enjoyed Emilio's and had an awesome interview with the four guys. But I couldn't help but think something in that show was missing. It was as though I was too high on the ethereal keyboard and tripping samples. And then Megan and I showed up at the Camel a few weeks ago.

Before I continue with my review, however, I want to tell you more about drummer Bryan Reyes, guitarist Matt Hughes, bassist Steve Owen and Matthew Henry and how this dynamic group is influencing the Richmond music scene. Talking to them before the Emilio's show was an incredibly enlightening experience. As I've noted before, since I'm not a musician myself, it can be incredibly difficult for me to make the best assumptions about a band's style or goals. Getting the chance to talk to these guys about what they do and why they do it was an amazing opportunity. When I asked them about the nature of their music, Brian brought up the idea that one of their biggest goals is to produce work that is anti-static. It's interchangeable and gives them room to explore. Their songwriting to loose, but unique, allowing them to maintain the flexibility necessary to adapt them into something new with each show. There's a very organic element to their electronic style. They also approach music with a very do-it-yourself attitude. For example, they're learning to run their own sound-engineering for shows, in order to have better control over their distinct style, and be prepared for anything that may come up technically.

Plus, they're strong supporters of the locavore movement (which also came up in this month's Hotdamns article). Their DIY outlook fits in well with the idea of "eat local, buy local, and listen local." Not surprisingly, Silo Effect feeds off of playing for a crowd that demonstrates a genuine and strong interest in similar ideals and, of course, their music. I'm not saying the crowd has to bring signs, but if you've ever been to a show and seen how their fans dance, you know what I mean. And it's all about reaching new people, new ears and finding new sounds and songs to switch up their set lists. It's a passionate but accessible experience that you really have to see to understand.

So Megan and I found ourselves at The Camel trying to convince the door guy that we were actually with Magazine33. Their soundcheck bled slowly into the beginning of their set. I've found that sound checks can be my favorite time of a show. It's like watching a skilled athlete warm up and stretch his legs, arms and back. It's the time when the band settles in and plays something that tries each member and makes sure they sound optimal. I've heard many bands play new music here, or something fun and to get the crowd at the bar going. We posted up at the booth that has since become our regular spot and waited for the house lights to darken and the band lights to wash the group in blue.

I was prepared for a similar experience to their first show a month earlier that I discussed above. Losing myself on the waves of music coming from the keys and guitar. I still felt as though I needed something to ground me however. The thing that was missing for me? Vocals! Steve Owen has a rich voice with just the right edge to it. Just the right sandpaper grate to complement the keys. The trippy melodies and samples soar along the finely crafted rhythmic structure while the vocals stop you dead in your tracks for a beat, and then you start dancing. I'm not saying that this group isn't phenomenal when they stick to instrumental pieces. They'll get you moving just as much. But the rich blend of melodies, rhythm and voice really works here.

They fully cemented themselves into my heart when they broke into the Ghostbusters theme. I have never seen so many people jump up simultaneously to go dance as they did when the first riff cut in. They played through an awesome jam in the middle and returned to the original melody. It's probably one of my favorite single songs played by a local artist. (On that note guys, if you have that recorded please let me know! I'd sell half my soul for that song in a file. Ok, maybe not half.) Anyway, they know how to get a crowd moving. Check out Megan's pictures if you don't buy it.

When I asked my ever important question: "What's one thing you'd want everyone to know that I haven't covered yet?" they answered: RAGE! Come out. Dance. Have a great time. Just do it. Just have fun. They're a must-see band. You can't get the full effect from listening to the live recordings they have up on their MySpace page. Luckily, they play every first Saturday at the Camel, and quite often at Emilio's and elsewhere around town. Also, stay tuned for a Check out their next show on December 5 at The Camel. Until then, check out some neat stuff I collected for you below, including music! - Meredith Ripple


"The five tracks of “Treehouse” fuse elements of “livetronica,” “jam” and rock to make an expansive, addictive debut."

The five tracks of “Treehouse” fuse elements of “livetronica,” “jam” and rock to make an expansive, addictive debut.

The Silo Effect first formed as a “collective of musicians” in Richmond, Virginia in 2007. By blending elements of “livetronica,” funk, and electric disco, the band offers a lush, layered palate with the 45 minutes of “Treehouse.” The five tracks shift and mutate, becoming musical tapestries that are symphonic in composition and execution. The Silos Effect features the talents of Steve Owen (bass, vocals, and midi), Matt Hughes (guitar), Bryan “Rico” Reyes (drums), and Matthew Henry (keyboard). Bobby Hudson contributes percussion on the first two tracks, while Taylor Smith provides the engineering for the album. The album was recorded in analog at Sound of Music Studios in Richmond, Virginia, and this analog recording style contributes to a warm, organic, “living room” sound.

The title track begins with elegant, clean guitar lines and a tasteful mix of percussion and drums. The song ventures through various moods and motions, utilizing meditative, metaphysical lyrics to complement the foundations of the song. This track demonstrates the elegance of early Lotus, with a soaring jam sensibility. “Kasyapa” is another energetic romp that morphs through various dimensions and textures of sound. The end result is a satisfying, pleasing jam with lots nooks and crannies to explore. The album takes a contemplative turn with the beginning of “Surfaces,” but this track also diverges and meanders with some truly wicked keyboard runs and yearning guitar. “Yam Fighter” gallops along with stratospheric guitar, then yields to Henry’s fluid fingers on the keys. “Flight of the Dog” begins methodically, as layered guitar is added to a concoction of bass and drums. The song swells in intensity with feverish beats, driving rhythm, and a loping, urgent guitar.

The five tracks displayed on “Treehouse” provide lots to chew on, offering more to write about than other albums with twice as many tracks. The album is personified is by clean, elegant guitar lines, excellent midi and loop effects, and excellent compositions. As mentioned, these expansive songs transition from subtle origins to confident, muscular jams. The results are quite addictive.

- J. Evan Wade - J. Evan Wade


"The Dancing Tree 01.04.11- HGMN Staff Favorites of 2010"

HGMN Staff's Favorites of 2010:

LEE:
Favorite shows: New Mastersounds w/Lubriphonic - 04.20.2010 Carrboro NC
The Mantras w/Big Something - 10.30.2010 Raleigh NC

Albums: Big Something - Stories From the Middle of Nowhere CD
Moksha - Mammal or Machine CD
Keller Williams & the Keels - Thief CD
Future Rock - Live in Wicker Park CD
Roots of Creation - RoC Live Vol. 2 CD


ROBIE:
Favorite shows: The Silo Effect - Camp Barefoot Music Festival
Bonobo (live band) - Bear Creek Music Festival

Albums: 1. Gorillaz – Plastic Beach
2. Alex B - Moments
3. Eddie Roberts & Freckles - Move
4. Flying Lotus – Cosmogramma
5. Pan Astral – Pan Astral

SHERRY:
Favorite shows: New Mastersounds - Bear Creek Festival - 11.14.2010
Lubriphonic w/ Lizzy Ross Band - Pour House Music Hall, Raleigh NC - 11.04.2010

Albums: New Mastersounds - Ten Years On CD
Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds - Live in Las Vegas 2CDs
Budos Band - III CD
Orgone - Cali Fever CD
Cope - Going Home CD

TREVOR:
Favorite shows: Josh Phillips Folk Festival - The GetDown Music Fetival 2010
The Mantras - Glen Allister's Guardian Angel Jam

Albums: The Black Crowes - Croweology
Widespread Panic - Live in the Classic City II
Easy Star All Stars - Dubber Side of the Moon
Big Something - Stories From The Middle of Nowhere
Big Daddy Love - To the Mountain

J. EVAN WADE:
Favorite shows: Bassnectar 09.21.10 Raleigh NC - Read my review
Camp Barefoot 4 August 19-22.2010

Albums: 1. Dangermuffin - Moonscapes
2. Big Something - Stories from the Middle of Nowhere
3. Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank - Traveling Show
4. The Mantras - Dharland
5 Green Hit - Purpose - Leeways Homegrown Music Network


"The Silo Effect: Ascension and Beyond"

Cover Story!!
The show, the album, the film. Could this be the year of the Silo?

"I've been thinking that I've been thinking too much. For more than what you'll ever see or say, this life depends on what you touch. So look through the surfaces..."

Richmond – When one has friends that play in a band, it is often difficult to accurately assess them from the same viewpoint as the general public. With that being said, the Silo Effect’s CD release show at The Camel really put things into perspective. In Silo’s early days, I would often find myself personally acquainted with ninety percent of those in attendance of the show. However, on this particular evening, Silo packed The Camel nearly to capacity, a testament to their remarkable growth since forming in early 2007. No longer can I justly refer to them as simply “my friends’ band” – they have become a true local force, an entity unto themselves with quite an impressive following.

On this particular evening, the Silo boys celebrated the release of their long-awaited debut EP Treehouse with two sets of epic, blazing psychedelia and crunchy, throbbing dance grooves that seemed to increase the temperature inside The Camel by twenty degrees. The rhythm section of Steve Owen (bass, vocals) and Bryan “Rico” Reyes (drums) lock together to form a pummeling funk freight train, while Matt Hughes (guitar) and Matthew “Chen” Henry (keyboards, samples) add layer upon layer of texture and atmosphere, morphing ethereal soundscapes into beautiful resolutions of expressive, instrumental melody.
The Treehouse EP offers the first document of the band’s growth over the past few years, as up until this point Silo could only be experienced and understood in a live setting. What Rico describes as the band’s “roots album,” Treehouse was recorded over three days... - Andrew Lutwin- Magazine 33 Richmond


Discography

Treehouse E.P.
Released Fall 2010

1. Treehouse
2. Kasyapa
3. Surfaces
4. Yamfighter
5. Flight of the Dog

Photos

Bio

In 2007, a series of events in Richmond, Virginia served to inspire and generate a collective of musicians-- each with a passion for creating organic, unifying, and ultimately captivating music.

SILO twists live electronics and progressive rock into contagious dance grooves; funky beats and soaring jams- wide open to space and time.

Members of the Silo Effect are joined by a common link:
A commitment to offer listeners colorful sonic landscapes, invigorating performances, and a message of universal awareness.

2011 brings SILO new travels and a mission to ignite fresh sounds with infectious grooves as they continue crafting their own brew of electronic space-rock.

Always reaching for innovative approaches to live performance and community involvement, the quartet remain true to their unique creation-- Silo thrives on their ability to leave the audience with an original mark of unified elation.