Slow Riot is an instrumental ambient shoegaze recording project of Bryan Ciotola. He plays bass in the Sheboygan, Wisconsin shoegaze band Geena, and he does it all in Slow Riot. Both bands are on a Chicago-based indie label called 1980 Records and Tapes.
The band name is not a reference to the debut EP (Slow Riot for New Zero Kanada) by Godspeed You Black Emperor. It’s much sillier than that. Ciotola was also in a different side project called Urethra Franklin. He wanted to start another side project that also had a ridiculous name. In this “interview” he did with his label, he explained it:
The original project was originally titled “Sloe Riot”, the idea being to drink a bottle of Sloe gin and improv a live set. That quickly changed when I started recording for the album and found the music to be a bit more serious than I had imagined it to be. “Slow Riot” became about social change over a long period of time. Visually, I imagine a mob of people protesting down a city street in slow motion.
Ciotola further explained that the recording process with his solo project is much different to the process in his band. He says that this is pretty much a stream-of-consciousness thing. He sits down, plays, records, and that’s pretty much it. He goes back and adds guitar layers, adds some bass, and adds some drums. But there’s no fussing about the structure or anything like that. Not exactly improvisation, but not far from it.
Although this is more angular and much less reliant on pink noise, and although this has no vocals at all, I’m still reminded of the lovesliescrushing album Bloweyelashwish (1993).
The self-titled EP from Slow Riot has five songs, and this is the only one I’ve heard:
“Dear Interior” by Slow Riot
This is kind of creepy, kind of horrifying, and really soothing at the same time. It seems like it would be excellent for driving down a country road at night.
It’s my understanding that this was only released on cassette. No vinyl. No download. Just cassette. You can buy that here.