It took me five years of listening to El Ten Eleven to figure out that the L.A. based band only has two members. Their thick, hypnotic sound is created by double-neck guitarist/bassist Kristian Dunn and drummer Tim Fogarty. The “power duo” (as termed by Fogarty) will be melting minds Wednesday night at San Marco’s fave venue, Jackrabbits.
El Ten Eleven are currently touring to promote their tenth album, Banker’s Hill. This is the first album the band has recorded with the help of a producer, so they made it count by employing Sonny DiPerri.
“He produced some amazing records with Portugal, the Man, Nine Inch Nails, Animal Collective,” Dunn says. “He really pulled out the best parts of our songs and best performances.”
Banker’s Hill does seem to have a bit more structure than some of El Ten Eleven’s previous work. But don’t get it twisted, their songs meander and wind down a melodic, bittersweet path that transports the listener to a place of serene elation that feels nostalgic and futuristic, simultaneously.
Dunn sends smooth bass lines and ambient, bouncy guitar licks though a network of loops and pedals to paint the scene while Fogarty’s eloquent drumming keeps the story moving. The duo creates entire narratives–conflict, resolution and all–without the use of lyrics.
I suppose I forgot to mention that El Ten Eleven’s music is strictly instrumental. Their soundscapes don’t really need words to create an entire world in your head.