When: Saturday, Feb. 23
Where: Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC)
Checking out an EOTO concert is a bit like watching musicians produce a live album. Only there are just two people in this recording studio, a packed dance floor for an audience, and only one song is being recorded – an hour-plus song, but one song just the same.
EOTO made up of Jason Hann and Michael Travis of the now defunct String Cheese Incident orchestrate this live production with drums, keyboard, percussion, bass and guitar and more computer software than a computer geek could ever dream.
The two players man their own stations with Hann recording the tracks live, looping them back on each other, and then mixing the overall effects — all the while playing drums. Travis takes care of the strings, along with additional effects to produce an unbelievable sound, literally.
“Producers will come up to us and say, ‘Your sound was really good. How long did it take to pre-record them?’” Hann said. “We keep telling them that we are really making them up as we go.”
Even a San Francisco newspaper lauded the “pre-recorded” tracks, which is really a compliment in disguise. EOTO’s music sounds so good that no matter how many times they hit people over the head with the fact that their show is live from the floor, from beginning to end, nobody will believe them.
But yes, the world is in fact round instead of flat, and every note of EOTO’s round sound is fresh out of the moment. See it to believe it this Saturday, Feb. 23 at the Garibaldi Lift Company (GLC).
“We are really making up every note and maybe if people really started recognizing that, it might take the group to the next level,” Hann said.
The next level already includes a 96-date tour. Four months of highways and take-out food across the U.S., with only three Canadian dates in Vancouver, Whistler and Nelson.
“It’s so much easier to stay out,” Hann said of the upcoming music marathon. “I find we play better when we are playing night after night.”
Last fall’s seven-week tour warm up of the U.S. had the duo finding their stride, each concert further reinforcing the demand for their unique performance.
The band functions like a computer spitting out DJ’s beats, only instead of taking hours to lay a single track down on the computer, EOTO uses live instruments to create 100 per cent improvised break beat, trip hop, house, and drum ‘n’ bass samplings. Cutting edge technology couples with the undeniable power of live drums to create an ever-evolving musical experience – the only aim to get people dancing.
The style is as organic as the origin of the “band”. Hann would travel to California for rehearsals with the String Cheese Incident, and always crashed on Travis’ couch. Both musicians were night owls and after rehearsals they would play until three or four in the morning. Unlike their setup for the String Cheese Incident, Hann would put down his guitar to pick up drumsticks while Travis stepped out from behind the drum kit to play bass.
As new gear came in, songs grew. The two began recording their spontaneous jam sessions, which were finally put in front of an audience to rave reviews.
“I love electronica recordings, but they get an extra bump when you have live musicians doing it,” he said. “And if they do it well, wow.”