Aron Sanchez and Arone Dyer have long indulged an inventive spirit—prior to forming Buke and Gase, Sanchez logged time in The Blue Man Group, where he also designed instruments; Dyer fashioned custom-built bikes. As Buke and Gase, they’ve employed this ingenuity to create their own instruments: Dyer’s buke, or one-of-a-kind baritone ukulele, and Sanchez’s gase, or self-strung bass-guitar hybrid. Friday night, they brought these Frankensteinian instruments to life, with a stunning set at Johnny Brenda’s.

The challenge for any two-piece live is always creating the sort of full sound that’s achieved easily with 4 or 5 musicians—and for Buke and Gase, this meant also controlling a small platoon of pedals and foot percussion, including Sanchez’s kick-drum and Dyer’s “toe-bourine,” or custom-built tambourine that strapped onto her boot. The resulting set-up required intense concentration from both parties—no flailing about recklessly in fits of rock’n roll revelry allowed—but yielded truly impressive results, as the band wove complex, mathy tunes, with Dyer’s vocals floating on top like a butterfly.

The band’s hour-long set spanned their entire catalogue, including the recently-released General Dome. Songs like “Hiccup” throbbed with syncopation, Dyer’s diaphragm pulsing as she spit out notes—while “Misshapen Introduction,” off the band’s 2012 Function Falls EP, allowed her vocals to echo and swell like a choir, Sanchez’s pounding kick drum adding forward movement. Watching the pair work was impressive and inspiring—like watching a Rube Goldberg machine run its course…with the end result being beautiful music. Truly a unique performance.

Your Face Left Before You
Medulla Oblongata
Misshapen Introduction
General Dome
My Best Andre Shot
Split Like A Lip
Sleep Gets Your Ghost
Tending the Talk