Taking Experimental to the Next Level
Name: Buke and Gase
Where They’re From: Brooklyn, NY
When They Started: 2007
Genre: Indie rock
Sounds Like: righteously badass hippies
Remember making guitars out of empty tissue boxes and rubber bands in third grade music class? That’s probably the closest most of us have come in the field of DIY instrument-making, and damn, is Buke and Gase putting us all to shame.
The Brooklyn-based band members Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez get their name from the self-improvised instruments they play: the “buke,” an electric, six-string baritone ukelele and the “gass,” a guitar-bass hybrid. And yet, they manage to avoid hoakiness entirely, in favor of a mathy, grating Deerhoof-type sound.
Catch Buke and Gase in concert and the whole show unfolds at their feet, literally. In addition to singing vocals, Dyer plays her “buke” under her right foot, along with a “toe-burine,” a jingling frame of little bells strapped to her left foot. Meanwhile, Sanchez rocks out with his “gase” using one foot to pedal a kick drum attached to a bass drum and tambourine.
Dyer’s voice may as well be considered a homemade instrument, too. With pipes to match the band’s freewheeling ideology, Arone Dyer belts out boisterous yet melodic tunes over the duo’s homemade strings. The result is a thick, layered blend of folky, acoustic resonance, and blues-style rhythmic intricacy.
After breaking from a post-punk noise group called Hominid, the duo formed in late 2007 and recorded their debut album +/- in 2008. Discovered in a basement venue by Aaron and Bryce Dessner of fellow Brooklyn indie band The National, Buke and Gase were signed to Brassland Records and released a second album, Riposte. 2012 brought the duo a third EP, Function Falls, and an ongoing tour with Deerhoof set to wrap up in December.
Check their first release off Function Falls, “Misshaping Introduction.”