Monday, June 28, 2010

New Music: Buke And Gass

On Sunday afternoon we stopped in at the Bang On A Can marathon to catch the Talea Ensemble play the epic "Professor Badtrip". After Talea had completed their epic performance, we greeted some of the members stageside and were about to shmooze it up a bit, when we were completely distracted by the ensemble that had just taken the stage. Mesmerized, we returned to our seats to discover that the onslaught of noise coming from the stage was not only some of the coolest we had heard in a while, but was also (shockingly) being produced by only two players! Enter Buke and Gass.

The Brooklyn duo deliver a style of music that almost undefinable. To start with, each player (in addition to being a multi-instrumentalist) plays an instrument that was self created: a modified baritone ukelele (Buke) and a guitar/bass (Gass). However, there's much beyond the unique instrumentation to be enjoyed about this duo.

For one, they create so much noise on stage that you'd be easily forgiven for guessing that it was a trio, or even a four piece, playing on stage. Moreover, they enlist a unique sense of melody and composition that is reminiscent of the works of Dave Longstreth. However, despite their melodic and compositional intricacy, the band manages to keep their experimentation to such a level that their songs maintain a poignant immediacy normally reserved for pop music.

Needless to say, after seeing the pair's ridiculously great set, we immediately picked up their self-released CD, and headed back stage to meet the band. They were undeniably gracious, and had the air of a band that is just on the cusp of greatness, and just barely starting to realize how much people are enjoying their tunes.

It should be noted that we're most certainly not the first to notice their pair: during our chat, we discovered that they have a new record on tap with The National's Brassland Records for September. While they don't have any more shows scheduled at the moment, they are in the process of planning a tour around the release. Needless to say, you should get out there and check them out when they do. In the meantime, enjoy "Medulla Oblongata" from the forthcoming full length, below.