Consisting of former String Cheese Incident members Michael Travis and Jason Hann, the electronic duo EOTO brings, as expected, heavy shades of the jam scene's improvisational ethic to its brand of dance music. In fact, the group stresses that all of its sounds are completely improvised, that none of the material is worked out in advance, and that EOTO uses no prerecorded loops whatsoever.
String Cheese fans still coping with the band's abrupt 2007 breakup will of course be hungry for the slightest familiar traces of Hann's and Travis' styles, but EOTO's setup dramatically departs from that of its predecessor. Hann has switched from percussion to drums, while Travis has moved from the drums to bass, guitars, keyboards, and hand percussion. (Hann also plays percussion and sampler, and both do real-time remixing.)
Though EOTO gives Travis his first bona fide chance to dive into melodic instruments, he still does so from the point of view of a drummer recently emancipated from the kit. Meanwhile, Hann, who grew up in Miami, draws from his expansive expertise in various ethnic, world, and folkloric rhythms, including several Latin and West African styles. Dance purists and DJs might be skeptical, but as far as Hann and Travis are concerned, EOTO's sound falls within the parameters of house, drum 'n' bass, trip-hop, dubstep, and breakbeat.
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