All-Around Experimental Awesomeness
Just what is a buke? Why, it’s a former baritone ukulele turned six-string and singer/buker Arone Dyer’s instrument of choice. The gase happens to be a guitar-bass hybrid and Aron Sanchez’s personal creation. Together, the duo make one hell of a team. Buke and Gase take the same experimental DIY enthusiasm more commonly seen with strictly electronic instruments and make their own ways with hand-modified and -crafted eponymous instruments. What follows, especially on their second LP General Dome, is a a musical smorgasbord: a sampling of oh-so-many influences and offerings done to the most original of their abilities.
“Contortion in Training” sees the same deft rolls of arpeggiated groove as The Police’s “Message In A Bottle,” with Arone Dyer’s vocals coaxing wave-washed guitars to the surface of the soundscape. In the way that General Dome waxes and wanes, an infinite amount of influences sluice through the thirteen-track album. Some musical connections make sense, such as the Muse-esque growl of “Hiccups” as it rolls into the Phantogram vibes of “In the Company of Fish,” while others seem as far-flung as crossword puzzle clues.
Closing track “Metazoa” is playful and sweet, pairing Spoon instrumentals with the spunk of Yelle. For an album concerned with widespread themes of places and their importance, General Dome is all over the map at an almost dizzying pace. In terms of album flow, there are just enough interludes (“You Do Yours First” and “Sturtle” bookend “Twisting the Lasso of Truth” beautifully) to keep it cohesive. With their latest album, Buke and Gase hit an almost virtuosic stride in complete comfort with their self-made instruments and sound.