Buke and Gase / Obuxum / Ace of Wands - Wavelength Monthly Music Series

Wavelength Monthly Music Series

March 2019:


"Scholars" Tour Lands in Toronto

Acclaimed New York avant-pop duo releases first new album in 6 years on Brassland Records

with special guests:


Ace of Wands

Saturday, March 30

Monarch Tavern

12 Clinton St., Toronto

Doors 8:00pm

Advance Tickets: $15 + HST & service charges

Available via: ShowClix.com + Rotate This + Soundscapes


TORONTO - Buke & Gase - "Scholars" Tour Lands March 30 at Wavelength

Wavelength's first installment of its ongoing Monthly Music Series for 2019 features Buke & Gase, one of the series' most beloved international acts. The Radiolab-approved Hudson, New York duo and Brassland recording artists first performed in Toronto at the ALL CAPS! Island Festival back in 2010, and most recently appeared locally last year, at the 2018 Wavelength Winter Festival, where they unveiled new material from their long-awaited third album, Scholars, recently released on Brassland Records. Already praised by Ars Technica, Pitchfork, Q, The Line of Best Fit, Uncut and Exclaim, Scholars sees the innovative instrument builders augmenting their hardware with custom-made software and other electronic techniques they have spent the last three years developing, with Arone Dyer's voice as ever the focus. The result is a captivating listen, unlike anything else out there in the current musical landscape.

Buke & Gase's Toronto support acts have been curated to reflect two sides of the duo's sound: the experimental electronic soundscapes of OBUXUM, and the bracing art-folk of Ace of Wands.

About the artists:

Buke & Gase

Buke and Gase make pop music in the most insane way possible‚ through long periods of ecstatic collaboration executed with a kind of monastic discipline. They are a band that wears genre tags lightly: Soon after releasing their EP-length demo +/-, they became an “indie rock” obsession shared by The National & beloved cult podcast Radiolab. Their debut album Riposte found them categorized as “steampunk art-folk”; they excelled at this, and became a favorite of NPR Music and were invited to perform on an early season of their Tiny Desk Concert series. Their second album General Dome appealed equally to metal, math rock & avant garde music fans, and spawned their closest thing to a hit thus-far: "Houdini Crush," which opens with a massive guitar riff and blooms into a frenetic round. It was behind this record that the band first toured the world, performing alongside & often serving as hand-picked support to a who's who of music icons: Laurie Anderson & Lou Reed, Shellac, Battles, Reggie Watts, Swans, Deerhoof, Owen Pallett & Mike Patton’s metal supergroup Tomahawk among others.

And then came a public silence — five years of it.

Aron & Arone were hardly dormant. Relocating full-time to the upstate artists’ haven of Hudson, New York, the duo recommitted to their sometimes punishing work ethic, clocking in & out for months on end with a fervor that indicated this job they'd created for themselves was also their greatest pleasure.

They embraced the freedom of playing & recording largely for their own consumption and creative fulfillment. They stepped out on their own creative journeys. Arone Dyer’s voice was the first thing anyone heard of The National's Grammy winning Sleep Well Beast album, singing the introduction to #1 AAA radio charting "The System Only Dreams In Total Darkness." She also moonlighted in side projects Mistresses & #dronechoir; participated in Justin Vernon and Aaron & Bryce Dessner's PEOPLE festivals, and sang with Bon Iver & The National on nationally broadcast late night TV. Aron Sanchez invented the chordstick, a bespoke percussion/guitar mash-up for Bryce Dessner's acclaimed "Music for Wood & Strings" project — and remained central to producing instruments for the Blue Man Group.

Three years ago, they embarked on a major refinement & modernization of their instrumental creations — and embraced electronic music. Together they developed Arx, a device that revolutionized their performance, allowing them to trigger percussive sounds, change effects on their instruments, and control vocal harmonies all with the punch of an arcade button. They have largely retired the buke (bass ukulele) and gass (guitar-bass). The band no longer sit through their performances exclusively — a reinvention unveiled when they opened for The National at massive venues across Europe last autumn. Buke and Gase stopped being defined by the instruments which gave them that name. Their new album Scholars began not as the title of their new record, but a possible-new moniker for the band.

Although their distinct musical character is still recognizable, the songs on Scholars embrace a form of expression that is more concise, more emotional & less perverse in its uniqueness. The album was honed from 60+ songs and hundreds of hours of recordings into a concise document clocking in under 40 minutes. In a way, their long & roundabout journey has resulted in a sound that’s coincidentally in sync with our most forward thinking contemporary artists — James Blake, Bjork/Arca, Frank Ocean. They have embraced the same computer- and synthesizer-driven creative tools that make EDM and trap music function, while existing entirely in their own, fully imagined universe of sound.

B&G discuss their gear and tech over at Arts Technica.

Listen to Scholars.

Exclaim review (8/10).

Sputnikmusic review (4/5).

Pitchfork review (7.5/10).


OBUXUM is a Somali-Canadian performative music producer based in Toronto. Her Somali Heritage influences the ways in which she creates and performs music. She’s currently working on an a instrumental series called The Metaphor which will consist of inspirations from all sorts of music all over the world. She is working on the final installment for the series entitled “H.E.R” which represents the multiple stories about healing, identity and love. Since the past year, OBUXUM has played several festivals such as, Kazoo!, Electric Electics, Venus Fest and Big On Bloor to name a few. She has also been mentioned in BlogTo’s 2017’s bands to break out, as well as Ride the Tempo.

Ace of Hearts

Ace of Wands is the music and songwriting of Lee Rose. Joined by Anna Mernieks (also of Beams) and Jody Brumell, the band blends soaring vocals, violin, synth-bass and guitar into songs inspired by the supernatural, elemental forces and physical sensation. Drawing on a background of rock'n'roll, classical violin training and folk music, Ace of Wands expands their songwriting to incorporate facets of cinematic soundscapes, pop melodies and interlocking guitars and vocals. Motivated by the tarot card of the same name, the music is about will and determination; to create and destroy, and to bring about physical, mental and spiritual transformation. The groups' new LP, Lioness, will be released Feb. 22.

About Wavelength:

Wavelength Music is a curated concert series designed to champion creativity, co-operation and collaboration in the independent music and arts scenes. Established in 2000, we are a non-profit arts organization that puts artists and the community first. A cornerstone of the Toronto music scene, Wavelength Music has championed literally thousands of emerging artists during its decade-plus run.


Buke and Gase / Obuxum / Ace of Wands - Wavelength Monthly Music Series

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