Published Jan 15, 2019Buke and Gase are a band best served without categorization. Having largely retired the instruments they developed that gave them their name — the buke (baritone ukulele) and gase (guitar-bass) — the duo consisting of Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez (after relocating from Brooklyn to upstate New York) took a five-year public hiatus to develop new musical devices and evolve their sound.
Their third full-length, Scholars, reflects the modernization their latest instruments have undergone (Arx allows them to trigger percussion, change instrument effects, and control vocal harmonies with the push of an arcade button), keeping their wholly distinct sound while embracing digital and synth-based instrumentation.
Like prior releases, Scholars employs abrupt shifts and style changes in their songs (some altering entire song structures), and unusual time signatures, making their music incredibly technical and wildly unconventional. The album's title track starts with thick, single-note hits of bass-y synth before a deep percussive rumble adds itself to the mix. The song then turns dramatically, combing all elements simultaneously to produce a rich, heady sound.
Similarly, single "Pink Boots" embraces the newly electronic side the duo has delved into for this release, still employing trademark sounds like that of the gase and toe-bourine, but employing synths and computer setups to recreate them. It goes without saying that Buke and Gase are one of the most inventive and original-sounding artists out there. (Brassland)