Spirit of '68 Presents
El Ten Eleven
123 S. Walnut St
Bloomington, IN, 47401
Doors 8:00 PM / Show 9:00 PM
This event is 18 and over
Watch & Listen
El Ten Eleven
"I really hope people don't say that we are a math rock band!" doubleneck guitar/bass virtuoso Kristian Dunn exclaims while discussing his duo, El Ten Eleven's, new album Transitions. Acoustic and electronic drummer Tim Fogarty adds, "We get labeled all kinds of things from post-rock to ambient to experimental... all of those make us cringe. So far my personal favorite label for the band has been 'Power Duo'... it's kind of ridiculous but I like it."
Despite the absence of lyrics, their latest release, their fifth studio full-length album, may be the most personal to date. "Tim and I have been through a lot in the past couple of years," Dunn reflects. "We've both been divorced, moved to different cities, Tim went through some really dark times, I got remarried and had a kid … for a while things were uncertain and we threw ourselves into the new record and it called for more than just short pop structures."
Thus, the title track, "Transitions," which clocks in at over ten minutes long, is a twisting journey of sublime unpredictability. But the band's ability to write catchy, emotional hooks hasn't been lost.
"The problem I have with most math rock bands or prog rock bands is that they are usually just showing off for other musicians. 'Ooh! Look what I can do!' We're just not interested in that. We want girls to come to our shows, too!"
And they do. The band has been touring almost non-stop for the last eight years. 2012 has already seen them headline their own tours as well as play big festivals such as Capitol Hill Block Party, Camp Bisco, Osheaga and more.
Armed with merely a doubleneck bass/guitar, drums and a dizzying array of foot pedals, the band creates complex, deeply felt music, from scratch, onstage, with no help from laptops, click tracks or additional musicians. They utilize multiple looping pedals to create songs that sound as though they are being played by at least six people. Most first-timers to an El Ten Eleven show are stunned that the band is a duo.
After more than eight years of global touring, seven solo albums, countless collaborations, label-head tastemaking and vital artist-incubator in the USA's most critical beat-making cities (SF, Chicago, NYC), Eliot Lipp's status as an electronic music pioneer is known to scene connoisseurs and weekend warriors alike. Lipp's omnivorous tastes are apparent, from the obvious funk and myriad manifestations of hip-hop though less explicit reference points as jazz fusion, folk and techno. His well-earned reputation as a producer's producer stems, in part, from his craftsmanship. Never content with well-worn breaks and effects, his work incorporates a fetishistic love of analogue gear with sampledelic flourishes, intricate rhythmic patterns and more than a few leftfield surprises. But his melodic instincts and tunefulness are what have earned him such wide appeal, his songwriterly connection to music's storytelling possibilities, even without words.
When Eliot Lipp first arrived on the scene with his self-titled solo album in 2004 (Eastern Development), he seemed to have a fully formed aesthetic out of the gates. Lipp displayed an intuitive knack for teasing earwormy melodies out of rhythmic bangers, and drew from a remarkably mature sonic palette - two qualities that immediately set the young instrumental producer apart from his oft-indistinguishable beatmaking brethren. Since that promising debut, Lipp has played to his strengths while creating an imposing body of work with a style uniquely his own.
After spending formative, collegiate years in San Francisco, Lipp found his next home of Chicago—along with label Hefty Records and the fertile, exploratory music scene that surrounded him—to be an indisputable font of inspiration that resulted in two full-lengths in 2006. Lipp's Tacoma Mockingbird record—named in homage to his boyhood home in Washington State—is a study in contradictions, as back-to-basics hip-hop and electro breaks underpin a more nuanced approach. He soon followed with Steele Street Scraps, a record that makes great use of some of his many collaborators. While it can't be said that his Chicago years resulted in the post-rock phase one might expect from his associates, it seems to have laid the groundwork for greater compositional maturity to come.
After time immersed in Los Angeles' vibrant community of producers, Lipp crossed the continent to set up shop in Brooklyn. His 2007 album, City Synthesis (Metatronix), is notable for its relaxed tempo, while the following year's The Outside (Mush Records) proved to be a thorough artistic breakthrough, his most formally complex and emotionally engaging work yet. Lipp's irrepressible creativity found another outlet in his Old Tacoma Records label, offering the opportunity for more diverse collaborations and a greater range of expressiveness. That freedom yielded 2009's Peace Love Weed 3D: a release that upped the electronic ante and supplemented his boom-bap instincts with futurefunk details. He followed this with collaboration from long-time friend and producer Jasia 10 for How We Do: Moves Made (2011).
2012 has been a year of milestones for Eliot. He signed with internationally renowned Pretty Lights Music, through which he released his most recent album, Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake, digitally and on vinyl. Shark Wolf Rabbit Snake is a bubbling cauldron filled with anything and everything—from 80’s synthpop jams through jazzy funk to hiphop, with underlying electro breakdowns throughout. As Urb magazine puts it, “this album is for the listener who’s as passionate about different music as he is.” His savant-like creativity earned Eliot recognition by Jay-Z in his blog “Life and Times”, with a premier of Eliot’s latest track “Wonderland”. As Eliot continues to share his signature sound you can count on the unpredictability of what you’ll hear from him next.