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The Loudest Miniature Fuzz

Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 10:56 PM

Music duo Buke and Gass play for us, attempt to describe their genre-bending sound, and talk a bit about what's it like to play out what you don't say in this podcast.

Buke and Gass (pronounced 'Buke and Gase') produce weird and wonderful, twangy and chaotic sounds with their homemade instruments. Though they sound like a whole rip-roaring party of bodies, the band is in fact only comprised of two people: Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez.

Also, for those of you wondering about AWE-MAGEDDON, our live event series, here's an excerpt from our first show!

Iain Couzin is an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University, where he studies collective behaviors within animal groups.



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Comments [67]

Straight from Barcelona a New Radiolab listener here (about 6 weeks on the road).... I have to say I have fallen in love with the program and Robert and Jad's voices, both so stimulating . I listen to you while driving around on my way to teach English language to eager souls. And after many, many, many, many (I've downloaded about 7 GB of stuff from Radiolab) long talks about ants and black holes and limitless memory capacities, amazing stochasticities and truly mind blowing stuff (just love the way you guys explain things and the way you play that just right 10 seconds sketch of music) this couple ex couple was great for a cloudy almost stormy but rainbowy evening.

Sorry for people who was not able to enjoy it: You can't have it all:

May. 31 2013 08:42 PM

Haha! You made me buy their CD!! Incredible! Too bad they're not coming to Norway

Nov. 17 2011 06:40 PM
Lilly from Idaho Falls, ID

AWESOME! (Robert, that was JUST for you!!!)
Awesome group, sound, music, podcast. Creative.

Jun. 13 2011 10:28 AM
Lilly from Idaho Falls, ID

AWESOME! (Robert, that was JUST for you!!!)
Awesome group, sound, music, podcast. Creative.

Jun. 13 2011 10:27 AM
Chloe from Seattle!

I love this band. Hahaha, "Prune and Gass", oh Robert.

Jun. 09 2011 12:09 PM
Jeff Osiensky from Palmer, Alaska

Buke and Gass are amazing. Imagine, if you can, a mix of King Crimson, Laurie Anderson, Ani DiFranco, throw in some more tinges of psychedelic folk, indie pop, and who knows what else and you still come up short. I say this in a good way...I am totally amazed at the musical complexity coming from a band of two. Plus add in the part about their interest in building, modifying instruments to produce that unique full band sound. Wow! I am completely blown away. Keep producing great music!!!

Feb. 13 2011 05:56 PM
ryan from Austin, Texas

As a long time listener I just want to take the time to thank you for introducing us to "Buke and Gass". I listened to the podcast months ago but just got around to checkin out the rest of the album, and I must say, most favorite music discovery of quite some time.

Wish I had known of them when I was in NYC a few weeks before this podcast aired. But at least I got to see Robert at the 2nd St. Y as a consolation prize. ;-) Though realizing I had Paul Davie's autograph on his book after the Arsenic-Happy microbe stories hit the headlines was quite a treat!

Thanks for everything.

Dec. 26 2010 08:23 PM

Buke and Gass are amazing. The older host is an absolute chore to listen to:
You're not funny, you're not clever.

Jul. 11 2010 06:04 AM

I love the customizing and creation of their own instruments - brings That 1 Guy to mind... and the cigarboxnation. It's another extension of making the music your own.

Jun. 17 2010 12:59 PM
Evan Calford

As a huge Robert Fripp/ King Crimson fan I found Buke and Gass the closest thing to a development of that type of sound. Wow. And that girl!! These two should get ready for an extensive schedule.

Jun. 03 2010 01:14 PM

I thought Buke and Gase had a really intriguing sound. I was hooked right away and went to their site to order the CD!

And some people complained about their performance sound quality, but you have to keep in mind that the songs Jad played were from his time talking to them, while they practice, not from post-production studio recordings.

Awesome find Radiolab! Thanks for all the great podcasts, intense audio-sensory experiences and all!

May. 19 2010 04:41 PM

oh, wait.
paging georgia! sweet!

May. 11 2010 04:23 AM

seconded. is this thing open to the public or what? didn't they say june first.

Comment from Georgia
Date: May 2, 2010, 9:43 pm

Wow, to be honest didn’t have the patienence to see if this question was already posed on the comment board, but is AWE-Maggdeon going to be open to the public? I was looking at the GreenSpace online calendar and didn’t see an opportunity to buy tickets…

May. 11 2010 04:15 AM

Thanks for the intro to B&G as well as the intro to your new speaking series.

1. I really love that you guys use the podcast as a medium for sharing non-episode material with us. If each episode is a lesson and you're the teacher, the shorts are the great side conversations you have after class.

2. Awe-Mageddon is great. It's nice to hear the whole unedited story straight from the scientist's mouth.

Keep up the good work.

May. 10 2010 08:02 PM

Wow, that's some range of responses there. My opinion: RadioLab should just do what they love and the rest of us can enjoy it or not. Honestly, who the hell wants to listen to radio (or anything else) by committee. You have a right to your opinion but not to mess with someone's "thing" because you don't like it.

Then again, I fell in love with B&G after listening to this. But still, it's irritating that some people think they own you because they listen to your show. Rock on, guys - I luvs ya.

May. 10 2010 03:21 PM

His discovery about locusts is very interesting. However, I'm surprised that he's the first scientist that has used these computer models scientifically. These methods have been used in computer graphics and animations for decades and is called "flocking". Remember the zebras stampede in Lion King? That was based on computer models similar to what this presenter is explaining.

May. 10 2010 02:53 PM
Billy Bert Davis

Iain Couzin's research suggesting very simple models lead to complex group dynamics reminds me of so many human behaviors that we like to assume are controlled by the "conscious" brain yet seem to be more directly influenced by the more ancient structures. Even our reasoning attempting to suggest a more deeply conscious explanation often seems to be connected to simple rules of approach, repel, follow. Maybe even the rise in research and acceptance of the ideas is nothing more than collective interactions.

May. 09 2010 09:45 PM

Buke and Gass make good sound. There is something off-putting about their name tho like they will make you sick, but they won't.

May. 06 2010 08:14 AM

Making youre own instruments is much more common than I had believed until I began getting into experimental classical music and noise music so I was very excited to see Radiolab have an episode about this!!! This band Neptune I feel is a great example. Makes all their instruments from scrap metal.

May. 05 2010 01:29 PM
Evan K.

What an amazing duo; quite unlike anything I've ever heard. Just purchased their full CD and it's even better than I was expecting after listening to this episode.
Keep up the great music selections!

May. 04 2010 09:44 PM
MIke P.

I thought the most recent episode was a break from the norm, and if the music was less stimulating I would have been disappointed. Instead, I was so lit from the music that I broke routine and checked it out. Thank you for consistent delivery of something that is beyond wonderful pretty much every time.

Radiolab feeds me like no media I've ever consumed.

May. 03 2010 04:49 PM

As much as love Radio Lab - This particular episode was disappointing. I appreciate art and enjoy artist sharing their emotional involvement, but the music took be to a bad place. I've tried to revisit the interview, and wanted to relate to it, but still found myself agitated and experiencing maxillofacial pain.
Please don't do a follow up in any way shape or form... give us some more stuff about monkeys.

May. 03 2010 03:00 PM

Oh, yet another guy-girl duo from Brooklyn with wacky instrumentation, progressive in regards to aesthetic (if "progressive" = poor quality production) but not composition. No, they're not a horrible band, but a feature? Radiolab should be above these teenage trends.

May. 03 2010 02:32 PM

Wow, to be honest didn't have the patienence to see if this question was already posed on the comment board, but is AWE-Maggdeon going to be open to the public? I was looking at the GreenSpace online calendar and didn't see an opportunity to buy tickets...

May. 02 2010 09:43 PM
Joe The Videographer

I was just speaking with my wife this very afternoon, about how quick people are to crap on the work of others. I wonder how you would feel? Have you done something better? Have created anything at all? My guess is.... no. Perhaps more thought should be employed before you hit submit.

That said, I enjoy Radiolab so much, and got a kick out of seeing people who I think of almosts as friends for the first time. If you enjoy their program, you should support your local NPR station. Simple as that.

May. 02 2010 07:15 PM
Dan Buckley

Hey, I'd be interested in going to the next awe-mageddon if I could find any info about it. Just sayin. Thanks for all the great radio!!

May. 02 2010 05:32 PM
solo donce

if you think Buke and Gase is a crazy duo of sonic craziness, check out LIGHTNING BOLT. if you can, watch the documentary "the power of salad and milkshakes"

you really should check it out. they are aamazing/insane/wall of sound. you won't believe it.

May. 02 2010 01:52 PM

What's going to happen to this AWE-MAGEDDON segment when you post new stuff on the main page? Will it be listed with the other recent podcasts or will there be a separate link for these live segments.

I want to share this segment on swarming behavior to a biologist friend, but there's no actual link to it.

Is there a reason we can't download these, but we can download the MP3s?

May. 02 2010 08:47 AM
Andrew T

Awesome animal behavior talk! So do the fish change directions basically just at the whim of a few? For example, why - given the absence of a predator - would they not just stay in that taurus forever?

May. 02 2010 02:38 AM

I saw Buke and Gass at Big Ears festival in Knoxville, TN..about a month ago while waiting for Netherland's The Ex to was the absolute worst thing I have ever heard...(The Ex was amazing however) I am an avid fan of radiolab but was a more than a little disappointed to see them being featured.

May. 01 2010 08:41 PM

Loved Buke and Gass. Music suited me perfectly.

Apr. 30 2010 11:10 PM
Toby Saunders

Actually, the prevention of suffering is the best objective... I mis-typed, sorry. RADIOLAB IS AWESOME.

Apr. 29 2010 04:01 PM
Toby Saunders

That's all rather interesting, but scaring fish is just cruel, -whether it saves lives or not, it's unethical. The observational research (in the wild) seems priceless though.

-I should add, it's comments like, " some dumb fish..." (from Krulwich demeaning his prey, I dare say) that make us so afraid of hypothetical extraterrestrial-aliens. 'Dumb' implies a lack of worth, so anyway, I recommend you (especially if you're of a more clever species, hehe) go vegan and avoid causing suffering (that's the best objective I can imagine. period.)

Apr. 29 2010 03:59 PM
Joel D

Absolutely loved the band and the music and found their creativity and energy inspiring.--thanks for sharing. I can understand however how that the music might not appeal to a wide audience. Theres Steven Speilberg and then theres David Lynch. I've listened to the podcast about 7 times so far.

Apr. 29 2010 02:02 PM
Bill M.

I am a faithful podcast listener and really love the show... With the notable exception of the Buke and Gass segment. IMHO, their music is painfully self-indulgent and has very limited appeal outside of the 10-block radius from where it is created. Wretched. That said, keep up the good work on the show!

Apr. 29 2010 11:23 AM

*gasp!* They have faces....

Apr. 29 2010 01:10 AM

Truly enjoyed Buke and Gass. Love LOVE the show, that said, AWE-MAGEDDON has potential but y'all look a little fidgety in front of the camera, and was that wine in a plastic cup? Tee hee.

Apr. 27 2010 10:14 PM

Loved this piece, wouldn't change a thing :) Buke and Gass are really refreshing, ordered a CD after I hear the episode.

Apr. 27 2010 06:23 PM

the clip about the ants reminded me of this video

Apr. 27 2010 01:59 PM

Fell in love with Buke & Gass immediately. They are unspeakably phenomenal.

Apr. 27 2010 11:09 AM

I thought Buke & Gass was amazing! I'm moving to NYC in a week, and I can't wait to go see them do a live gig.

Apr. 27 2010 12:14 AM

Hey, Robert, why are you on, like, every other NOVA Science NOW?

Apr. 26 2010 09:57 AM

Please don't heed the advice of anyone wanting your sound to be more "neutral." The unusual auditory experience, and your incredible editing, are part of the reason I seek out new Radiolab episodes more regularly than anything else I hear on NPR.

If all I wanted was straight-forward storytelling with the same music riffs recycled over and over, I'd turn my radio off after This American Life. I'm an avid NPR listener and supporter, and yet I too find myself bristling at the satirized NPR sound ... "Delicious Dish" anyone? ... I'm glad there's a program on the airwaves that is a smart alternative to the subdued, self-satisfied tones you hear elsewhere on the schedule.

Radiolab is an amusement park for both the ears *and* the mind. And like a thrilling rollercoaster, I find the ride too short when I reach the end.

Apr. 26 2010 12:50 AM

Please don't listen to Zoe, radiolab's production values are amazing.

And thanks for introducing me to Buke and Gass, it can be pretty hard finding interesting music.

Apr. 25 2010 07:14 PM

Dear RadioLab:

Fascinating topics, but could you possibly scale back the audio-sensory experience? It's incredibly distracting, veering on the condescending (as in Kids' Shows).

Maybe my ears are programmed to the "neutral" tone of NPR. Please give it a thought, bet I'm not the only one turned off by the performance art production. Let the story sell itself.

Apr. 25 2010 02:13 PM

One of my favorite radio shows does a piece on one of my favorite bands I've seen live in the past 3 years... This is my day.

I saw Buke and Gass open for The National (First Ave. in Minneapolis), and they were fantastic musicians. Their music is an acquired taste for most folks I've loaned their album to, but after multiple listens, everyone says to me, "This is phenomenal. I can't stop listening to them."

Order their cd, everyone who reads this, and support their music! Listen to it 5 times in a row! You will not regret your choice!

Apr. 23 2010 12:48 PM

While the music itself wasn't bad, I fail to understand why this was appropriate subject matter for Radiolab. I was expecting some kind of sciencey approach to this music, but was ultimately disappointed by the lack of insight or even original presentation. It was just a band interview, like a million more before it.

Apr. 23 2010 10:29 AM


Apr. 23 2010 02:22 AM

Unfortunately, I identify with Robert's comment (@12:20) all too well. Guilty as charged.

Apr. 22 2010 04:37 PM


Apr. 22 2010 04:17 PM

NPR isn't ready for you J&R. Thanks for pushing it into the noisey.

Apr. 22 2010 02:27 PM

Loved Buke and Gass, checking out there stuff now. I was expecting some science angle on the sound, but in any case, i really enjoyed the find. I'm sure it will rub many the wrong way. Sadly western music dictates a very limited taste for many people.

Apr. 22 2010 12:09 PM

Awe-Mageddon looks amazing. That's some pretty cool science you have there. Thanks for sharing!

Apr. 22 2010 11:49 AM

hey there,
Just listened to the podcast- great stuff - was wondering, though, about your mention of the upcoming Awe-mageddon event June 1st, and how one goes about getting tickets for said event.

Apr. 22 2010 10:09 AM

@justin Try their MySpace page to listen to the full songs:

Apr. 22 2010 04:04 AM

great. where's the REST of it?

Apr. 22 2010 03:29 AM
Cody Jones

Wow! Check out that rhythm on Two Frogs - I liked that last bit too.
Nice find Jad!

Apr. 22 2010 02:31 AM

I wasn't sure if I liked Buke and Gass until the last interstitial play around 11:30 ("Everyone here is out to get you!").

That one got me on the janitor's horse.

Apr. 21 2010 09:23 PM

I've seen Robert on PBS before so he just looks like a 'Krulwich' to me now (I don't know what I mean by that exactly). I also don't know what a 'Jad' normally looks like, but the look does fit the voice well. :-)

It's kinda like when you see Ira Glass (This American Life) for the first time. "Whoa, that's exactly what I imagined that guy looked like." ;-)

Apr. 21 2010 08:06 PM

I love homemade instruments. This is such a lovely piece. I just met Tyson Ayers who turned 9 Pianos into a giant musical sculpture and instrument. You can check it out here:

Apr. 21 2010 03:13 PM


Apr. 21 2010 02:02 PM

I agree with Ken. It's a little sharp for my tastes. I had to turn down the treble on my computer.

Apr. 21 2010 12:31 PM
Connor Walsh

Love how you casually revealed the Radiolab T-shirtafter the buttoned-up intro Jad! Not quite Clark Kent-style, but getting there ;-)

Apr. 21 2010 11:14 AM

I did not like the music of Buke and Gas.. No disrespect for their work, but I did not find it pleasing.. then again I dont like yoko ono's work either...oh well....onward.

Apr. 21 2010 09:01 AM

That's some frenetic and awesome music.

Apr. 21 2010 07:30 AM

Yeah, especially Robert. He looks more like a Gene than a Robert. He doesn't look like his voice, Jad does.

Apr. 21 2010 05:18 AM

Whoa!!! I had no idea what the two of you looked like until today!!!! It feels like when you watch a movie based on a book and it ruins your imagination (maybe not ruin--but simply eliminates the need for the imagined picture)of what the characters look like. (Harry Potter comes to mind...)
Now I have the real deal :)

Apr. 21 2010 03:24 AM

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