Release Date: Jan 29, 2013
Record label: Brassland
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Post-Rock, Experimental Rock
The term “DIY” in music can conjure some fairly negative images in the mind of the modern music fan. A cynic will instantly imagine poor musicianship, recordings that sound like they were made in a metal bin and po-faced artistes trying to exchange you their shitty tape for a bite of sandwich. Sometimes though, it’s not about living up to some impossible set of DIY aesthetic rules – we can’t all be Ian MacKaye (more’s the pity), and it’s not about pretending that a field recording of your drunk mate leaving you a voicemail is, in some way, art.
Review Summary: The Brooklyn-based duo drop their weird, catchy sophomore recordOn their sophomore album, Brooklyn-based duo Buke and Gase continue to expand their brand of asymmetrical, off-putting indie rock, peppered with all sorts of infectious hooks and riffs. The sound of General Dome is that of a female-fronted, modern version of The Pop Group, relegated to playing in a garage somewhere while an 8-track, stuffed somewhere in a corner, records everything that’s being played. General Dome has this sort of loose and improvisational feel, reminiscent of a post-punk record without a whole lot of the self-righteousness and seriousness that makes so much post-punk a drag to listen to.
Buke And Gase erupted in the US a couple of years ago to widespread acclaim. Their debut disc wasn’t really noticed as much on these shores, but there’s now an opportunity to right those wrongs with the arrival of their follow-up, General Dome. Buke And Gase are a duo comprising of Arone Dyer (who plays a ukulele modified to a six string bass – hence the Buke of the band’s name) and Aron Sanchez on the “Gase” (a guitar/bass hybrid of Sanchez’s own creation).
Very few bands are capable of completely encapsulating their sound with their writing credits quite like Buke and Gase, who open the liner notes of General Dome, their second full-length outing, with the statement that "all songs improvised, organized, written, discussed, performed, discarded, recorded, and produced by Buke and Gase. " This statement of purpose really captures the deconstructed and subsequently reconstructed nature of the band's lurching sound, which melds a host of fractured homemade instruments with the voice of Arone Dyer, whose vocals feel like warm honey flowing through the carefully arranged chaos created by the Brooklyn band. While it would be easy to go on endlessly about the myriad musical touchstones they pull into their work, what's really important is that their work.
The buke and gase are the instruments, and Buke and Gase make the music. Here are the basics: the duo epitomize Brooklyn, NY's DIY tendencies by building their own gear (the buke is a baritone ukulele, while the gase is a guitar, plus bass), and the results shout for themselves. It's the grind'n'swarm of a bustling building site being bombarded by noise bombs and hard rock artillery.
Buke and GaseGeneral Dome[Brassland; 2013]By Joshua Pickard; February 26, 2013Purchase at: Insound (Vinyl) | Amazon (MP3 & CD) | iTunes | MOGSomewhere, in either Arone Dyer’s or Aron Sanchez’s house—maybe displayed prominently in some music room or possibly hid deliberately away in some corner shrine—I would imagine that there is a collection of worn LP’s by bands like Wire, Siouxie and the Banshees, and The Pixies which keep close company. And after listening to General Dome, the duo’s latest record as Buke and Gase, I can imagine that these records are obsessed over quite frequently. Known for their homemade instruments, such as the “toe-bourine”, the “buke” (a six-string former baritone ukulele), and the “gase” (an electric guitar-bass fusion), the Brooklyn duo have combined their love of angular post-punk with a quirky indie rock aesthetic that deftly combines memorable melodies and hooks a-plenty into an oddly familiar but still thoroughly enjoyable jumble.
Being on the Dessner brothers' label helped Buke and Gase's 2010 debut Riposte get around, but even more intriguing was the appealing story built into the scrambled music. Beyond their much talked-about modified instruments, they forswore looping pedals at a time when everyone was pretty sick of looping pedals, putting emphasis on their creative chops. Their names were Arone and Aron, for god's sake.
Call them what you want, but Buke and Gase’s approach to instrumentation isn’t nonsensical — inventive is a more appropriate moniker. The melodies created by the “buke,” a former baritone turned ukelele turned six-string, and the “gase,” part guitar and part bass, resound organically. The honesty reverberates through the duo’s second album, General Dome, a follow-up to 2010’s Riposte.