Music & clubs

Eight questions for Aron Sanchez of Buke and Gase

INTERVIEW. Brooklyn-based duo Buke and Gase's handmade instruments make them difficult to classify, but create a sound definitely easy to listen to. Catch them at Berghain on April 22.

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Named after their self-modified instruments (the Buke = a handmade miniature guitar, the Gase = a guitar with alternate bass strings), Buke and Gase – aka upstate New York-based Aron Sanchez and Arone Dyer – revel in a lateral ‘handmade’ approach to composing, forging a pop touch to the avant-garde.

Following three months touring the US and Australia behind sophomore release General Dome (Altin Village & Mine), they’ll bounce the floor of Berghain Kantine on Monday, April 22 with outsider cohorts Zs.

General Dome feels a lot more accessible than your previous album.

Actually, yes. We took four to five months to do the record – that was probably the most time that we spent in the studio. We’re interested in something that you can latch onto and kind of understand, but that also is kind of tweaked enough that it challenges you – the listener – in a way that you’re not familiar with. So, we’re interested in combining something that is very familiar and unfamiliar at the same time.

The uncanny valley.

 In comparison to the last EP [2012’s Function Falls (Brassland)], we were thinking about writing material that that wasn’t so schizophrenic and didn’t change around a lot. And songs that kind of lived within one particular groove long enough that you could, like, take the listener astray [laughs].

Lead the audience into your world?

[Laughs] Yes, into our strange world. I mean, technically, our music is different in that a lot of our songs are not 4/4, the standard pattern in pop music. We kind of work in 5’s a lot, or 7’s or 9’s, and that kind of can be confusing a lot of times. Erm, so in that way, we were working in other time signatures in a way that listeners could more easily get into the groove of it. I don’t think many people even realise that that’s what’s happening with us?

You’re attempting to unnerve them.

It’s funny – I hear lots of different points of view as far as what we’re doing is. I never quite agree with any of them, though. [Laughs] But I guess that’s a good thing. And I think it shows that we’re succeeding in that – that people are so confused in a way, referencing lots of different things. You’re reacting against the current scene? Maybe? I don’t necessarily think that, you know, that’s a problem in ‘music’. It might be something that’s always been happening in music.

Hence your DIY approach. Create any new instruments for the new record?

[Laughs] Um, yeah we did. Like my instrument, the Gase: I’m always building a new one in a way and coming up with a new iteration of it… never quite happy with it as far as figuring out new ways to make it better. And Arone’s instrument was also a new one. We also were starting to get more into using digital effects on the instruments for the new record, like bass pedals.

When it comes to the live show, how does it compare to playing in ‘normal’ bands? All of that sound – percussion, synths, bass – is controlled by you and Arone.

Well, yeah, it’s a lot of multi-tasking, it’s a lot of concentration. It’s definitely a lot more work than I’ve ever done in other bands. [Laughs] And we have to play seated, because I’m playing the bass drum and we’re using our left and right feet for pedals or the “toeburine”. And, you know, it’s a different kind of band. It almost doesn’t feel like we’re in a rock band. We feel much more like we’re doing classical music or something because it requires so much concentration and attention to detail.

And dealing with foot cramps?

[Laughs] I don’t know about Arone’s foot, but my muscles do seize up, yes. But then, yeah, in between songs – you just take a break for a minute.

Buke and Gase w/ Zs Mon, Apr 22, 21:00 | Berghain Kantine, Rüdersdorfer Str. 70, Friedrichshain, S-Bhf Ostbahnhof