Silo Arts seems to fit the bill of a label that seems to be dripping in cultural cool. Being a Brisbane-based, outward looking label that’s pegged to Frenchkiss Records, the Silo Arts collective have managed to make a real mark since their start in 2011.
The likes of Rainbow Chan, ƒriendships, and Tincture lead the charge for Silo, creating a niche of young, curated electronic music that reaches beyond domestic ears. Tomorrow, they’ll be staging their unofficial Melbourne Music Week showcase at The Workers’ Club.
In the lead up to this, we asked label founder Hugh Francis to explain Silo’s deal:
Silo Arts started in 2011 as a little artist collective. We got a bunch of like minded Brisbane producers together and started doing some shows around town, and hosting some internationals. The exact birthday of Silo Arts is unknown, however it’s roughly September, around Bigsound. We started in 2011 as a little arts collective, doing gallery shows with a bunch of unknown producers. We were lucky enough to be discovered by the peeps at Frenchkiss when I was working for CMJ in New York City in 2012. Those guys are pretty close to the CMJ crew, and I guess someone mentioned that I was running a small label back home. They had a listen to our sampler, and sent us a contract within a week. For me, that’s point where I really got my head in the game – up until then it had been a DIY collective. That’s when we decided to really have a go at this whole label thing….
But when it comes to choosing artists, we have a few core ideals that we look for. The music has to have some kind of electronic influence. It doesn’t have to be the deepest, purest underground techno, or the most technical ambient jazz – but the artist has to have a good smear of electronic sounds. Secondly – we look for artists that have a curated theme. We love artists who really define their identity in their music, whether it be the Canto-pop stylings of Rainbow Chan, Friendships’ strong focus on visual art and internet culture, or Tincture’s blend of Japanese nightlife and UK garage, there has to be an interesting and original thread running through the music. Finally – we look for friendly, loving humans! We are fairly strongly opposed to the high-brow / purist attitude some tastemaker labels and electronic musicians tend to adopt – and we like to ensure the people who join our family get that. Friendly people with a sense of integrity. That’s what’s up.
We think we’re getting pretty good at building artists. Tincture, Motion Picture Actress and Outerwaves all started in sharehouses in Brisbane, and were born out of Silo. Now all of those guys are gigging across the country, getting blogged about all around the world and picking huge international supports.
What we’re building with Silo Arts is essentially a launching platform for young electronic musicians to enter the worldwide market. We wanna help some of this amazing electronic music get out of Australian bedrooms. We’re on a mission to ship this culture to internet!
Silo Arts’ has a pretty extensive back-catalogue. For those unfamiliar, here’s a curated list of artists and tracks we think you should hear:
1. Rainbow Chan
You’ve probably heard of Rainbow via her Long Vacation EP. Take a listen to this older track though. Here, Chan’s voice is laid out in its full vulnerability, and it’s nothing short of beautiful. ‘Rabbit & Fox’ shows you to a different Chan, an emerging one at that, beyond the bliss-pop of her debut EP.
ƒriendships is Nicholas Brown and Misha Grace — a creative duo out of Melbourne. Specialising in beats that linger between full-blown dance floor numbers, to more down-tempo tracks to be played in bed, there’s a reason why Friendships seem to be plastered everywhere at the moment. And it’s this re-work of (our girl) Kylie’s ‘Slow’ that should tell you why.
Tincture is a producer who possesses a keen sensibility for RnB, which is then re-translated into his brand of electronica. On his Soundcloud, you’ll find bootlegs of Timbaland and Usher. ‘Tryst’, is the first single to be released off of forthcoming EP in early 2014, features indie-powerhouse, Hazel Brown (Two Bright Lakes / Otouto).
Moving onto Outerwaves takes you to warmer melodies that will probably be picked up on rotation over summer. Consider it refined shoegaze, maybe.
‘Ciel’ is introspective, there’s no doubting that. But it’s precisely that which makes it work, and tells you a little bit about the sensibility of Silo as a whole. A track which traverses muted melodies over that of overt electronic highs, Planete marks Silo’s conceptual territory in an all encompassing eight-minute track.