Album Review: Buke and Gase – Function Falls EP




The freewheeling nature of Buke and Gase comes from the fact that just two people (Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez) are trying to make as much noise, do as much crazy shit, and have as much fun as possible with two homemade instruments and a barrage of pedals. Somehow, though, that wildness seems conspicuously absent on the opening two tracks of their new EP, Function Falls, a set which coincides with a fall tour sharing dates with the similarly spirited Deerhoof.

The tracks in question, “Misshaping Introduction” and “Fussrate”, feature the basic staging of Buke and Gase’s sound: synthesized melodies from Dyer’s buke (an electric baritone ukulele), and chugging, roughly-hewn bass lines played on Sanchez’s gase, a Frankenstein’s monster of a guitar/bass. On top of that ramshackle insanity, Dyer and Sanchez add pounding drums played with their feet. As such, they inherently utilize a kick-you-in-the-face simplicity. Yet here their melodies fall flat, and their typically rambunctious sound remains rather tame.

Buke and Gase had hoped to have the follow-up to their 2010 debut LP, Riposte, ready to go this month. Instead, they cranked out these four songs to satiate fans. Its relatively unsurprising, then, that it’s not their finest work. Luckily, it includes the tremendous “Tending the Talk”, a track that opens with a polymetric entanglement of melodic ideas grounded by powerful, distorted bass notes. Dyer’s vocal delivery is direct and expressive, and the song builds to a frenzied peak before reveling in an additional climax.

The EP closes with a cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday”, bass and synth rhythmic intricacy providing a perfect fit alongside the metrical irregularity of “Tending the Talk”. The post-punk aesthetic of the track easily works through Buke and Gase’s pounding drums and noisy attitude. At this point, the EP has finally gained some steam, and funneled it into a crowded, dank dancehall. Unfortunately, the house lights get turned on too early, and the party ends before it really got going.

Essential Tracks: “Tending the Talk”, “Blue Monday”