The origins of Amsterdam, Netherlands-based Silkscreen lie within a different band altogether. In the early 90s the Sandcastles made a name for themselves by playing a number of outstanding shows at London venues. Rob Loeffen (b. 5 May 1963) originally played drums and sang with the line-up. As joint leader, it was not long before creative tensions grew between himself and his co-writing partner, leading to the inevitable split. Within the space of 18 months, Loeffen became proficient enough on the guitar to be able to front a band himself. Teaming up with Klaas Broekema (b. 5 March 1972; drums) and Mario Usai (b. 24 May 1965, Sardinia; bass), he formed Silkscreen in November 1994. Loeffen exercised his songwriting skills over several months, the band then signed with Dedicated Records, and renowned producer Simon Vinestock was brought in to shape the band’s studio identity. Best known for his work with Echobelly and Blur, Vinestock brought poise and a certain pop sensibility to the music. Blending the diverse influences of artists such as Radiohead, Nirvana and Björk, the result was Relief - a definitive exercise in light and shade, at once soulful and melodic but tempered with washes of distorted and aggressive guitar work. Further showcase gigs consolidated the group’s position as one of the most exciting bands to emerge from the Amsterdam underground in many years.
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