Two Cape Town artists, Silo & Humerous, are gearing up for their first live set this weekend at Earthdance Cape Town 2014. The two briefly crossed paths in High School, but their shared love for psychedelic trance rekindled their friendship years later. Earlier this year the duo released their début EP on international label IONO Music, but this weekend the two will arguably share the most defining moment of their music careers together – a live set that reflects their hard work in the studio over the past 15 months.

– The following questions were compiled on behalf Psymedia by Evan Greenblo

Psymedia : Let’s start off with a bit of a background check. When did the two of you begin trancing? At what point did your path’s cross?

Silo : OK, so to start my first big festival was a Vortex in January of 2001 at the Silverstroom venue. The party featured Infected Mushroom on their The Gathering World Tour and as a teenager, it was next level for me. I had a feeling this sort of meeting place of party-goers would have an impact on my future life. David and I met each other in Matric at Boston House College in Bree Street back in 2003. We weren’t close friends at the time, just associated that we went to the same bush jols, better known as trance parties. Later on, in 2008, when PsynOpticz Thursdays started at The Bang Bang Club, David approached me with a demo he made and was really keen to play a set. I listened to the demo he put together and it was epic, so gave my man Calvin (SwiTcHcaChe), the PsynOpticz guru, the go-ahead. After David had his first gig at The Bang Bang Club and got to know one another we thought it would be an awesome idea to play back2back sets as we had a very similar taste in progressive daytime music. And here we are now today!

Humerous : The first time I experienced Psytrance music was way back in 1999 as a mischievous youngster. As Karl mentioned, we first bumped into each other a few times at Boston House College on Bree Street. Karl was a total nerd and music freak. After many years of listening and going to trance parties I decided that I wanted to give DJ thing a go and recorded a mix on a pair of CDJs and a mixer and headed off to The Bang Bang Club. I knew Karl was involved with PsynOpticz, so I gave him my demo and hoped for the best! Everything else became legend [laughs]

Psymedia : What made you want to make the jump from DJ to producer? Did it seem like a natural progression? Are there any mentors who have helped you along the way?

Silo : Well, I actually started producing before spinning other people’s music. Producing began as a hobby when I lived in the United Kingdom after high school. I bought myself a desktop PC, soundcard and midi controller and just loved messing around with sounds – tweaking! When I was back from my gap years I started learning to DJ with Calvin (SwiTcHcaChe), an old school buddy of mine for years. We’ve got many party stories together [laughs] Anyways, a year later, Calvin received an offer to start throwing parties at The Bang Bang Club. This was back in April of 2008. We now had a platform and opportunity to play in front of a crowd. So everything kind of melted together when PsynOpticz Thursdays started at the good ol Bang Bang Club. David and I started writing music together last year April, and things are going really well. We work great together, formulating ideas and new techniques. Like they say, two heads are better than one. I would say my one music mentor’s was my friend Marce, who also went to Boston House College. Marce and his older brother, Sven, were writing music in Logic5 on Windows and making all these crazy sounds. I didn’t know what the fuck they were doing, but I was fascinated by it while hanging out after school. Many years later we lived together for a few years and I learnt a lot from him (RIP brother). I also received a lot of help from the guys writing in music in the scene today like Broken Toy, The Commercial Hippies, Itone, and just good friends who know a thing or two.

Humerous : My first taste of production came way back in 2003 when I attended Cape Audio College. I met Greg (Frenchy) and Adam (Headroom) who showed me this program called Steinberg Cubase 3. I took great interest in this music making process. It was a natural progression to go from DJ to producer, or DJ/producer. My mentors that helped me were Broken Toy, Headroom, Protoculture, and loads of other mates that have been producing over the years.

 

Psymedia : Your debut EP entitled New Path was released on IONO Music. How did you make the connection?

Silo : We sent the tracks to a few label owners and asked what they thought of the music. Matthias from IONO Music just happened to like them enough and asked if we would like to release an EP on his label. I personally couldn’t believe it at the time. It took a while to sink in, as it was really nice to get that recognition from a label of that caliber!

Humerous : I heard that Matthias aka Cubixx was coming down to perform at Multiverz at Trinty last year winter. I put everything on a flash drive and went down to Trinity to meet the man himself (old school guerilla tactics). I patiently waited for his three hour set to finish, handed him the flash drive, and requested if he liked anything on there, don’t hesitate to drop us an email. It was great to release on a label who’s music we played a lot over the years.

Psymedia : You guys are obviously comfortable in the studio and on-stage together. What strongpoints do each of you bring to the project in both cases?

Silo : I would say my strong points in the studio would be creating big delay reverb sounds, melodic soundscapes, arps cloudy murky squelch distorted stabs, with lots of delay! The sequencing we bounce ideas between each other. DJing we equal in a sense we both source and find rad tunes to play from good friends!

Humerous : I bring a lot of my connection and people skills. I’m always amped for the studio days. I love producing percussion, constructing drum loops, atmospheres and creating themes for the songs. DJing we both share the same taste in music, enough said!

Psymedia : Humerous, you’ve had the opportunity to play overseas at Hadra Festival in France. How was that experience?

Humerous : It was an unforgettable experience and definitely changed my entire outlook on psytrance festivals. It was well organized event and I got to hang with one of my hero’s Piet (Protonica) over the duration I was there. All in all, attending and playing at the festival was an unforgettable experience and made me want to work harder to get overseas. Make a bigger South African presence!

Psymedia : Earthdance Cape Town 2014 will be your live debut. What’s going to be different about this set and what can the dance floor expect from your set?

Silo : Well, first of all, I’d like to thank Regan and Monique for the awesome time slot. The set will be an hour of all our of own music that we have produced over the last 15 months. We will also be running an Ableton Live on stage for the first time at a festival. Laptop vibes with midi controllers, soundcards and cables. We gave the set a test run this last weekend. It was so much fun putting everything together, added loops and effects [laughs] All I can say to the beautiful dance floor, I hope you enjoy our set on Sunday and zone in with us!

Humerous : We’ve been itching to play our live set and what a great début to launch it! It will be a good test to see how our music works on the dance floor. We have all the equipment necessary to make this happen. The live set will be a lot more fun and hands on. The dance floor can expect something a little different and groovy psychedelic from us!

Psymedia : Once you have kicked off your live project, do you think you guys will tone down the DJ bookings, or will those always take place?

Silo : No, I think we will choose our live sets carefully. I feel that live is very outdoor sounding and would like to keep it fresh and outside for now, while the new tracks are finished up. The DJ bookings will most definitely continue. David and I, as some know, play by ourselves too, which are different sets altogether. So you’ll have a Silo & Humerous live set, Silo vs Humerous (Back2back DJ) and our individual DJ sets too, which can vary sometimes. I’ll never stop DJing, nothing better than feeling up a CDJ!

Humerous : No ways will we be slowing down. It’s actually going to be speeding up. Would be nice to play live and DJ set, creating a longer journey, perhaps at some parties. I love DJing too and will continue to accept bookings.

Psymedia : Any upcoming releases you want to mention?

Silo & Humerous : Yeah, we did a remix of The Commercial HippiesAll Of The Above, out soon on their Nano Records release entitled Digital Weekend Remix EP. We will also be releasing a track next month called Rough Journey on a compilation called French Plasir Vol.3 compiled by DJ Drenan (IONO Music). There will be a track on a {psy.ology} later in the summer season, something we wrote with Magnus (Itone/Corona). There are more releases in the pipeline, but can’t say much about that for now. We are writing more new music every day, highly inspired at the moment and driven by what the future brings!

Psymedia : Thanks for the interview. See you at EDCT2014! Anything to add before we finish off?

Silo & Humerous : Thanks for the chat, Evan. Secondly, thanks to everyone who has shown us interest and support over the years. We’ll do our best to keep you trancing! See you on the weekend.

CHECK OUT:

  • Silo on Facebook
  • Silo on Soundcloud
  • Humerous on Facebook
  • Humerous on Soundcloud