`Call it quirky if you want, but it’s innovative. This Brooklyn duo makes use of their arms, legs and the female half’s voice to create unorthodox, rhythmic pop. Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez are Buke & Gass, a band named after the unique instruments they play.
“We need a light show or something,” said Dyer, who sings and plays the buke, a lower-register version of the ukelele. “I want to get a bunch of people to have a choreographed dance. I want fireworks and I would like a bear on a bicycle.”
To fill out the sound, both members stay seated while performing – Sanchez with a modified kick drum in front of him and Dyer with bells around her ankles. “We’re just sitting there; granted there’s a hell of a lot going on between the two of us,” she continued. “But especially people who aren’t directly in front of us don’t see that we’re using our feet too.”
When asked if it’s tough to get people moving with this limited mobility Dyer jokingly responded, “Especially in New York. I’d love to get up and dance myself. I tell the audience that.”
The duo released their debut LP Riposte in September and have been gaining recognition ever since.
“On the last tour we did with Efterklang we were introducing ourselves to a lot of new people,” said Dyer. “We were really well received, especially on the West Coast. Radiolab really helped us out a lot. They exposed us to lots of people… otherwise I think they wouldn’t have known what to expect.”
“We were the support, but towards the end of the tour there were more and more people coming to see our set,” said Sanchez, who plays his own invention, the gass &- a hybrid bass and electric guitar.
“We’re both super into rhythm and trying to fuck ourselves over playing really complicated things,” said Sanchez. “I think the desire or perhaps need to do that comes out of the fact that we’re only two people and it’s a way for us to sound bigger, having those weird polyrhythms.”
“Especially with the kick drum,” added Dyer. “It’s not like he’s doing what people would consider the kick drum part which would be keeping the beat in a really downbeat way. We’re using it to accentuate a particular part of the rhythm we’re working with.”
“It’s more to fill out space, we will use it in percussive moments,” Sanchez said. “It’s like a compositional trick to make things sound like more than they are.”
The duo have been involved with electronic music projects in the past but now feel that playing instruments live fits them best.
“Playing a real instrument brings on energy a computer couldn’t,” said Sanchez. “I’m not interested in going to see electronic music live; there’s no energy there. We prefer to make all the sounds organically onstage.”
With the added creative depth of building their own instruments, Buke & Gass have honed in on a sound that is truly theirs alone.
“The fact that we are making the instruments is satisfying in that we are making something unique,” continued Sanchez. “It’s leading us down a path that is a little unorthodox, taking us places that we wouldn’t normally go if we were just playing a guitar or bass.”
This inventive style suits the group, who above all want to extend their sense of fun to listeners.
“We just want to move and affect people,” said Sanchez. “It’s not necessarily about the gear we’re playing, we’re just trying to make some real shit happen.”
Buke & Gass play Casa del Popolo Dec. 3. Tickets are $10.