Band Spotlight: EOTO

Sometime around the year 2008, there was an electronic duo that had the brilliant idea to introduce the sounds of dubstep into their live act. That duo is known as EOTO, one of the most popular livetronica acts in the country. They are a staple to the jam band circuit, having played at some of the biggest festivals in America such as Electric Forest and even headlined Summer Meltdown in Washington this past summer. With a set that is all live looped using a few acoustic instruments and enough electronics to be considered scientists too, this is an act that you do not want to miss.

EOTO is most commonly known as the electronic side project of String Cheese Incident, and those even vaguely familiar with STI would never know that these two acts were related. While String Cheese relies on acoustic, string instruments and will only “trance out” for brief moments, EOTO plays an all-improvised electronic set. They use no pre-recorded loops, so everything you hear at one of their shows is brand new. The only consistent thing about EOTO is that all their concerts are a continuous dance party until the last beat.

Not too many groups can do what EOTO does on a nightly basis. Their shows can last up to three hours, each song melting into the next with the crowd being a big factor on how they mix each tune. They’ve been playing music together for over 16 years and prove it with their ability to channel and play off of each other.  The duo’s sound has evolved greatly since their formation in 2006 and covers a vast arrangement of EDM genres. Expect to hear everything from house to breakbeats to dubstep during a single show.

Aside from all the break beats, they’ve got roots stemming from early house influences like the Chemical Brothers and the comparisons do not stop there; EOTO has introduced such an incredible variety of inspired sounds to create something that is uniquely their own. To fulfill the genius minds that make up EOTO, they’ve been known to stretch across the musical spectrum by including punk riffs and 90s rap samples, frequent use of heavy acoustic drums to go along powerful bass lines, which has help shaped a defining drum and bass sound, and throw in live instruments into their loops to remind us that the project stemmed from String Cheese Incident.

At no point in time does the experimentation come to a stop. Members Michael Travis and Jason Hann are constantly redefining and reinventing themselves with nothing off limits to what they can do. Their show is their practice. Hann has said that if one of them uses something that doesn’t work so well, they figure out a way to make it fit. “It’s complete organized khaos.”  With live looping as their primary weapon, one can drastically alter a song with a funky bass line or an intense beat drop and it’s up to the both of them to go with it. And this is when the band’s experience and intuition kick in.

This experience is what makes their act a must-see. It takes an enormous amount of skill to pull off the things they can do on the fly. It is a unique combination of technological masterminding and raw musical talent that has given this band such a popular name. Add in an amazing sound system and light show and you’ve got yourself one hell of a party.

-Colin Hudson

For more about EOTO please visit eotomusic.com

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