Premiere: Buke & Gase – ‘Scholars’

It's the title track of their new album...

Buke & Gase caused quite a stir with their debut album, 2013's 'General Dome'.

A rich, rewarding collection of songs, it's taken the band a long time to gather the right ideas, the right melodies into the right place.

New album 'Scholars' will be released on January 18th, an expressive, highly independent return, utilising hand-built instruments and vastly personal lyrics.

We're able to share the title track, a curious beast, both oblique and intensely perceptive. Singer Arone Dyer puts it best…

When I sing this, I picture a quintessential trouble child whose parents express a need for the control they know they don’t have.
When I sing this, I picture being gaslit by a lover.
When I sing this, I imagine myself bigger than I am, and growing, a crown of stars waits for me.
When I sing this, my chest billows with a desire to believe that I will overcome my faults, even though the subtle judgment that I won’t by those I love compresses my spine, keeping me Earthbound.

I extend this empathy to those whose truths aren’t yet recognized by contradictive social expectations.

Tune in now.

Clash caught up with Arone Dyer over email…

What prompted 'Scholars'?

The song 'Scholars' visited us on a cold, dreary, winter day through an improv session with our friend Adam Schatz that we recorded (you can hear Schatz's effected breathy saxophone toward the end of the piece). I'd say it was the first time Aron and I were able to share musical emotion in about three years, especially since shelving the previous album, and Schatz's presence was a catalyst in our eagerness to open up and show off for each other.

The final version on the record was constructed from this improv recording, leaving the instrumentation intact with some added production. I deciphered the lyrics from whatever babbling I splattered during the original improv: "you'll never make it through another day without your education" was read from my journal, while "maybe you will/maybe you won't" was my immediate conversational response to it.

Does your material tend to change in the studio / as you record? How did this one shift…?

We've always relied on the improvisational process to create music, in the past we would improvise together and make a sketch recording of the process. Later we'd listen back and pick out parts we'd like, relearn them, replay them, argue and construct a piece of music that way.

The big shift on the new record is we decided to start the final recording process while doing the initial improvising. It's kind of a backwards approach where you are recording the music before you know you have any music. All our instrumentation was multi-tracked while we improvised. Later we would listen back and edit / collage the recordings into arrangements we liked, and Arone replaced her improvised "speaking in tongues" vocals with lyrical vocals.

We realised this was a good approach because it was always frustratingly impossible to recreate the vibe of our initial "sketch" recordings which had so much more energy and life compared to our re-hashed and more contrived final results.

What can you tell us about the video?

The video! New and improved Buke & Gase visuals with lyrical content – you can sing along if you want to. I'd suggest you try because practice makes perfect and there's only a few months before we arrive and you'll have to sing it with me.

Your album is out VERY SOON. Are you pretty darn excited? Do you have a release day ritual?

Pretty darn? I'm ECSTATIC! I'm so in love with and excited about this music! It's been a long time coming and I'm not a patient person. It's like giving an ADHD kid Atlas Shrugged.

Alas – Aron and I will not be in the same locale on release day… I'll be in L.A. – I plan to drink a West Coast meal and stand in the sun for at least 10 minutes during breaks while recording a Mistresses album at Greg Saunier's palace. And Aron will be lounging on a beach somewhere in the Pacific. We'll exchange a long-distance toast! Pun intended.

Who is your tip to watch out for (musically speaking) in 2019?

Personal plugs: We both have side projects – Arone with Mistresses & Dronechoir, and Aron with DN RES.

What can we expect from your UK shows?

It's amazing that this is the hardest question. When I searched "expectations" online it comes up with multiple explanations of why having high expectations is akin to insanity. But, to be realistic, we're coming to the UK to perform our music live for an (expected? no. hoped for? YES!) enthusiastic audience who may or may not be familiar with our music and maybe we won't be what they assume we'd be like, but what they receive from us will nevertheless be given with good and loving intention.

We are, as always, humbled and grateful to our fans for showing us their appreciation, and so thankful that we have the opportunity to create and perform our music for them.

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Catch Buke & Gase at the following shows:

4 Manchester Castle Hotel
5 London The Lexington
6 Dublin The Grand Social

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