Buke (n.): a baritone ukulele-turned 6-string guitar that looks like something you’d win at a county fair, sounds like a sproinging synth organ warped through a war of tape feedback in the deepest level of your Ambien dreams. Played by Brooklyn musician Arone Dyer to ameliorate her carpel tunnel.
Gase (n.): a glorious electric rhythm love child, 1/3 bass, 2/3 guitar, 100% badass. Played, invented and incessantly re-invented by Brooklyn musician Aron Sanchez, ’cause the dude used to outfit the Blue Man Group with bonkers instruments and that itch apparently doesn’t go away.
Some other vocab lessons—see “toe-bourine”—were thrown around at Manhattan’s Mercury Lounge on Friday as the crowd crammed close for a midnight set from Brooklyn guitarchitect duo Buke And Gase (formerly Buke And Gass), but the most important noises of the evening came without words. Following opening sets from improvisational gloom-jazzers Blast Off! and gauzey, dreamgaze-y syth choir Glass Ghost, Aron Sanchez and Arone Dyer bobbed, boot-stomped and buked through a unique sonic palette that sounds even more flannel-blastingly massive in person.
The dual Aron(e)s dropped a hefty sampling of their fantastic new Function Falls EP (still streaming here) tempered with Riposte favorites and their parade-through-the-swampland single, “Hiccup.” Adam Schatz, sax man for awesome opener Blast Off!, joined them for a wonked-out rip through “Misshaping Introduction,” but wasn’t quite enough manpower to facilitate the lush cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday” that inspired the Function Falls jam sessions. “For that song we’d need a play button,” Dyer laughed.
“Copyright be damned! You’re probably the best band in the universe!” a fan answered.
The Mercury crowd didn’t get “Blue Monday,” but they did get an exuberant hour of weird-rock assault capped with “Revel In Contempt” that got most of the crowd clapping ecstatically along to Sanchez’s attack against a modified kick drum. Drop as many cliches as you want about DIY Brooklyn hipsters or whatever (granted, everything from the Aron(e)s’ amp casings to their screen-printed tees are self-engineered), but Gase is a multi-purpose rock weapon that could be co-opted just as easily by Rush or Rage Against The Machine. Matched with Dyer’s squelching Buke rhythms and the lilting, Karen-O-but-way-less-scary electricity of her voice, behold one of the oddest, most cliche-obliterating bands working out of a Brooklyn basement right now.
Buke & Gass are playing a showcase at the CMJ Music Marathon this week along with Death Grips and Flying Lotus. Weird, weird lineup. But on Friday night, B&G proved with a smile that they’re ready to bring not just the experimental bent to match the belching synths and cobra-puke flow of their future stage-mates, but the spine-shaking musical muscle to boot.