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Buke and Gase - Scholars CD (album) cover


Buke and Gase


Crossover Prog

3.84 | 6 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

4 stars Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez are the two-some that make up the band 'Buke and Gaze', an interesting collaboration from two musicians who were part of a post-punk band called 'Hominid'. Buke and Gase formed in 2007 and have released several EPs and 2 LPs during this time. Their main instruments were invented by themselves and is what the band is named after. The Buke, played by Dyer, is a modified baritone ukulele, while the Gase, played by Sanchez, is a guitar-bass combination. Originally, these were the two original instruments, but they have since incorporated other interesting instruments into their music, including something called an Arx which is a self designed multi-instrumental electronic control system. Then they throw in percussion mostly generated from a foot-operated percussion system.

'Scholars', released early in 2019, is their 3rd full length album. When recording, they typically improvise and then take the best, memorable parts out of their improvisations and craft some very original and quirky songs out of them. The best description of their music is eclectic, experimental, alternative pop. The final output is a set of really great and interesting songs that you won't hear the like of anywhere else. The music is definitely much more challenging than your usual pop music, that is for sure. I can tell you if 'pop' music was more like this, I would be more interested in it. I am periodically reminded of Bjork, but not because of the vocals, but because of the artsy and original style, which is completely unique to Buke and Gase.

Dyer performs the vocals, and she has a sweet voice that convinces you to come into her strange world of harmonic intervals unlike what most singers could tackle. Her range is amazing, sometimes singing in a high pitched songbird-style voice and others hitting low notes that most female singers would shirk at. The rhythms are usually heavy with almost prehistoric sounding drums thumping along and keeping the odd time signatures and rhythms in order to tie the odd musical patterns together, keeping everything somewhat anchored, yet not really.

Crossover Prog is a good place to put this music, as art rock is placed under that genre, and this is the highest quality pop style art rock that is current. You get the odd stylings of 'Pink Boots' with its quirky rhythms, the strange, alien-sounding processed vocals of 'Temporary', the robotic mood of 'Grips' which recalls something between Kraftwerk and Devo, but odder, and the perfect harmonies in the chorus of 'Flock'. The music has got that deconstructed sound to it in that there is no music in there that shouldn't be there, it is basic, yet complicated at the same time. There are a few times, unfortunately, when the auto tune is used to extensively, but then they use that to a very good advantage on some harmonic passages which ends up working towards their unique sound. The uniqueness of their sound really comes through with their home- made instruments on some of the tracks like 'Eternity', which is a good example of their quasi-acoustic sound, yet they tastefully add just enough electronics to keep things from being your typical 'beard rock', not to mention the fact that in the middle of that track, they go way off into left field avant-prog style craziness. Just when you think you have their sound nailed down, you find out you are completely wrong.

At this point, I consider it a sad thing that this band isn't more popular here in the archives. The music is definitely unique and progressive. It veers off into some interesting territory several times through the album, and even approaches avant-prog without any hesitancy. The musicianship is excellent, the singing is great, and it is totally unpredictable. Even with its ties to pop music, you shouldn't be afraid of this album thinking that it is weak. The ties are the same ties that you would find in more eclectic music like a combination of Portishead and Bjork, but much more organic. I highly recommend this album, and even though I give it 4 stars today, I really believe that as I listen to it, I will come to like it even more. This album is excellent!

TCat | 4/5 |


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