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While the Buke and Gass gently weep

When Aron Sanchez sees an instrument he likes, his first instinct isn’t necessarily to buy it.

When Aron Sanchez sees an instrument he likes, his first instinct isn’t necessarily to buy it.

“I saw this thing in a music store and said, ‘I’ve gotta have this thing,’ so I made one,” he says of a 10-string instrument called the Indian banjo. “It’s the cheaper, very not-practical way of getting one.”

Sanchez is all about making his own instruments, as one half of a duo called Buke and Gass, which actually takes their name from the instruments he and his partner, Arone Dyer, have fashioned for themselves. The buke (pronounced byook) is a modified six-string baritone ukulele, and the gass (pronounced gace) is a guitar/bass hybrid that Sanchez made. They also play modified percussive instruments with their feet.

The results are kind of like a rusty homemade train set that still runs. The sound is wobbly and abrasive — but also quite a marvel to behold.

“It’s kind of form follows function,” says Sanchez. “We’re only a two-person band and we wanted to sound like more than just two people, but we didn’t want to use computers.”

 
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